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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

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 Brossard—La Prairie.

Direct Selling IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw members' attention to an industry that touches the lives of many of our constituents: direct selling. Direct selling provides flexible and convenient earnings and opportunities for over 900,000 of our constituents, 91% of whom are women. Direct selling in Canada generates $2.2 billion in sales, almost $800 million in personal income and contributes almost $1 billion in taxes.

Direct selling companies give back to their communities, contributing almost $8 million in charitable causes and that does not include the millions in contributions that individual direct sellers make every year.

I encourage members to learn more about this dynamic and important industry at a reception this evening with the Direct Sellers Association of Canada at the Government Conference Centre.

Youth HomelessnessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to ask the government to support my motion now before this House to declare November 17 as national youth homelessness awareness day.

Canada has an estimated 65,000 homeless youth, which is embarrassing for a country as rich as Canada.

We cannot stand by and refuse to take action when the well-being of Canada's future generations is at stake.

At the end of last month, I had the pleasure of joining Richard Branson and representatives from Virgin and Raising the Roof in serving breakfast to young people at Eva's Phoenix, a transitional housing facility in Toronto.

I thank Virgin and Raising the Roof for all that they have done to bring attention to the issue of homeless youth in Canada. I think it is time to give a voice to those who cannot be heard, because the issue of youth homelessness in Canada is a fundamental problem to which we need a solution.

We ask the government to do no less.

Order of Saint-EustacheStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to three constituents from my riding.

During an achievement ceremony on October 20, three prominent individuals were presented with the prestigious Order of Saint-Eustache, which is the highest honorary distinction bestowed on its residents by the City of Saint-Eustache.

For 24 years, Ginette Bordeleau has been putting her heart and soul into helping seniors. Constance Joanette, pianist and singer, founded the Saint-Eustache choral ensemble. And for 20 years, Pierre Therrien has been at the helm of Prisme, an organization dedicated to addiction prevention.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I offer them our congratulations and best wishes for their future projects.

Infrastructure FundingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, this week, mayors and councillors from across Canada are here on the Hill bringing the concerns of their residents to the members of this House. Tomorrow morning, just down the hall in room 238-S, I am hosting a reception for northern mayors and councillors and invite members to come by.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has seen increased co-operation between municipalities and the federal government. One of the best examples is the gas tax transfer, which was originated by the FCM and, after continuous New Democratic pressure, it was made permanent in the 2008 budget. The NDP called for a permanent gas tax transfer in both the 2004 and 2006 elections and secured $900 million in gas tax transfers to municipalities in its amendments to the 2005 budget.

Now municipalities face the March 31 deadline for ending the infrastructure stimulus funding, which will create problems for some. As well, there still exists a major infrastructure deficit across Canada.

We need more co-operation between municipalities and Ottawa so Canadians are better served.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I wish to express my indignation at the news of the unlawful detention of Saeed Malekpour who is an Iranian citizen and a permanent resident of Canada. He returned to Iran in October 2008 to see his terminally ill father and was arrested. Currently in jail, he faces several allegations, including agitation against the Iranian government, and he has not had access to a lawyer.

Mr. Malekpour's case is but one of the many cases in which someone in Iran is facing a death sentence after a highly questionable process. The Canadian government, along with the international community, is committed to holding Iran to account for this and other violations of human rights. We continue to call on Iran to respect its domestic and international obligations and ensure fairness and due process to all its citizens and others.

Holy Angels High SchoolStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a few moments to talk about a great Canadian educational institution.

Holy Angels High School in Sydney has been educating young women for over 126 years. It has produced community leaders and national leaders, including Nova Scotia senator, Jane Cordy, and the hon. Minister of Labour.

The only public girls' school east of Montreal, Holy Angels has educated young women from all parts of my riding. Their experience gives them the confidence to do whatever they want in life, from working to build their own communities to becoming a senator or a federal cabinet minister.

Unfortunately, the school is in danger of closing. The school board is looking for solutions and I support its efforts.

I therefore call upon all members of the House to recognize Holy Angels High School as a great Canadian institution of learning that deserves to remain open so it can educate young women for another 126 years.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is on the threshold of a new partnership with India. Yesterday, the Minister of International Trade launched free trade negotiations with India, one of the world's fastest growing markets.

Enhancing and securing trade opportunities for Canadian businesses is a key initiative for our government. Over the last four years we have negotiated new trade agreements with eight countries and we are holding negotiations with close to 50 others.

The Canada-India partnership holds great promise for workers and businesses. A free trade agreement has the potential to boost Canada's economy by $6 billion to $15 billion and increase bilateral trade by 50%.

I have long promoted stronger ties and better trade relations with India. We must capitalize on our common ties and the large and thriving Indian community in Canada to create new jobs and new opportunities.

Free trade is both logical and a win-win situation for both countries and should be applauded.

Yves LamontagneStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, after 16 years with the Collège des médecins du Québec, including 12 years as its president and CEO, Dr. Yves Lamontagne chaired his last board meeting on October 21, 2010. According to Dr. Lamontagne himself, his time in that role was the most stimulating and enjoyable part of his career.

Yves Lamontagne began his medical practice caring for Biafran refugee children in Ivory Coast. A former clinical researcher and professor with the faculty of medicine at the Université de Montréal, he also founded the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre at the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital and was the founding president of Quebec's Mental Illness Foundation. He was made a knight of the National Order of Quebec in 1996 and a member of the Order of Canada in 2002. This psychiatrist, who also happens to be an excellent singer, is well known for his disarming frankness and his candour.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to commend his exemplary commitment, sincerely thank him and wish him continued success in all his endeavours.

National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash VictimsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and congratulate and thank it for the great partnership it has with this Conservative government. We have worked together to keep Canadians safe and the quality of life for Canadians better.

Actually, today is also the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims. Nearly 2,800 people are killed each year on Canada's roads and highways and another 195,000 people are hurt.

We must encourage all Canadians to drive safely and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries. Every member in the House is united today as we pay our respects to road crash victims and their families.

Our government, through the economic action plan, has partnered with the provinces and municipalities across Canada to make our highways and roads safer. We need drivers educated to keep themselves and others safe, and we look forward to a new year of safer driving for all Canadians and their families.

Eid al-AdhaStatements By Members

November 17th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker I rise today to wish Eid Mubarak to all Muslims celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice.

Eid al-Adha is one of the oldest Islamic celebrations in commemoration of the great trials of faith in the lives of both Prophet Ibrahim, as well as his son Ishmael.

Through the remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim, who is venerated in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Eid al-Adha also celebrates the common humanity and ethical heritage shared by the People of the Book.

Canada is a beacon to the world on how to live in harmony. This is an asset of enormous global value.

In today's environment, our challenge or sacrifice is how we move forward as a society to ensure that pluralism flourishes and that we overcome divisive forces. Canada has the unique opportunity to provide hope to the world on how to live in harmony.

On this blessed occasion, I wish each member peace, happiness and prosperity and a happy Eid.

Effects of Drug UseStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we support parents in their efforts to keep their kids off and away from drugs. We know that parents need help in explaining the devastating effects of drugs to their kids. Today we launched an edgy new advertising campaign to demonstrate to teenagers the devastating effects of drugs.

We believe in supporting parents in their efforts to protect their families from the effects of drug use. We will not undermine parents by sending kids the signal that it is okay to do drugs, as the Liberal leader did this week in Vancouver. This kind of irresponsible commentary is the last thing parents need as they try to raise their kids.

Shannen's DreamStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, 15-year-old Shannen Koostachin had a dream. She dreamt that all first nations children should be entitled to an education in a healthy and safe environment, just as non-aboriginal children. Sadly, Shannen did not live to see others carry on the fight to realize her dream.

My colleagues from Timmins—James Bay and Nanaimo—Cowichan have put forward a motion to push the government to close the funding gap for schools on reserve.

Today, in Ottawa, leaders, activists and children in our communities came together to launch the Shannen's Dream campaign and to call on the government to act on this national disgrace. In my region, the government has ignored the plight of children in Oxford House, Gods River and Gods Lake Narrows, as well as other first nations across Canada.

Today we would like to honour Shannen, her family and her community. Let us fulfill Shannen's dream.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party continues to make insulting and offensive comments.

Recently, the Liberal leader insinuated that Julie Javier, a Filipino Canadian with an impressive professional and community background, was only running so she could steal votes from the Liberal candidate in the Filipino community because of her heritage. He implied that the campaign was not being straight-up, that only his candidate was the real choice and that Conservatives were playing political games.

This is not the first time the Liberal leader has made insulting comments such as these to an ethnic group. In the Liberal leaders' book Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, he says:

My difficulty in taking Ukraine seriously goes deeper than just my cosmopolitan suspicion of nationalists everywhere. Somewhere inside, I'm also what Ukrainians would call a Great Russian, and there is just a trace of old Russian disdain for these 'little Russians'.

How can the Liberal candidate, Kevin Lamoureux, stand behind his leader and why does he support these insulting and offensive comments?

The Liberal leader and his candidate need to apologize to the Filipino and Ukrainian communities in Winnipeg North.

Government DecisionsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, all the people I am about to name have one thing in common. In one way or another, they have all been victims of the Conservatives' arbitrariness because they chose to stand up rather than suffer undue pressure from the Conservatives in silence. Some lost their jobs or were forced to resign, others did not have their contracts renewed and still others continue to fight for the resources they need to properly do the job for which they were appointed.

In naming some of them publicly, I want to underscore the courage, determination and decency all these people demonstrated by criticizing a number of unfair, abusive decisions made by the Conservatives. In so doing, they showed us that even in a democracy, freedom of speech and thought are not safe from the whims of those in power.

They are Linda Keen, Arthur Carty, Bernard Shapiro, Kevin Page, Peter Tinsley, Richard Colvin, Marc Mayrand, Paul Kennedy, Robert Marleau, Marty Cheliak, Munir Sheikh and Patrick Stogran. To all these people, I say thank you.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, an editorial in the Winnipeg Free Press is a misrepresentation of comments made by the leader of the official opposition while in Winnipeg to campaign for our candidate, Kevin Lamoureux.

The media asked the Liberal leader if he thought the Conservatives were playing political games by running Julie Javier to steal votes from Mr. Lamoureux. The Liberal leader dismissed this question and said that the people of Winnipeg North were not interested in political games, that they were interested in a clear choice.

The newspaper, without question, swallowed the Conservative spin on the leader's comments. Its editorial wrongly claimed that he was criticizing the Conservatives' choice of candidate for the riding. It has since promised a retraction of the editorial and an apology.

The Conservatives followed their usual practice of twisting the words of their political opponents and trying to divide Canadians.

We want to give the voters a clear choice. With Kevin Lamoureux's 18 years of experience serving the people of Winnipeg North, we believe he is just what the House of Commons needs.

Bill C-343Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal-Bloc-NDP coalition proved once again that it is soft on crime and cares more about criminals than victims and law-abiding Canadians. The Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP banded together yesterday at the HUMA committee and supported and passed Bloc Bill C-343 that would reward youth criminals.

Bill C-343 would provide thousands of dollars from EI for parents to stay home and take care of youth criminals who were injured while committing a crime, such as robbery, arson, gang activity or other criminal acts. The bill would result in increased EI premiums for law-abiding Canadian families and business owners who would be forced to pay even more money to these criminals. It is shocking.

The bill is offensive to victims and to law-abiding Canadians. Our Conservative government will never support a bill that rewards criminals. Unlike the coalition, our government will continue to stand up for victims and for hard-working Canadian families.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the F-35 fighter jets, the Conservatives are ignoring the Auditor General's report, they are ignoring the Pentagon, they are ignoring U.S. senators, they are ignoring everyone, especially Canadians who are wondering how the government can buy planes to the tune of $16 billion without a competitive bidding process.

When will the Prime Minister stop ignoring everyone, start listening to Canadians and give us a competitive bidding process for these planes?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this plane was selected through a competitive process under the previous Liberal government. We know with certainty that this is the preferred plane of experts in the field and of industry. I encourage the leader of the opposition to listen to the air force and the aerospace industry.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are indeed listening to the aerospace industry. They are saying that there would be more economic and industrial spinoffs with a competitive bidding process.

I have done a lot of town halls this year. The Prime Minister does not hold open town halls, but if he did, he would listen to Canadians. What Canadians are saying is this does not make sense. We cannot persuade a small business person across the country that it makes sense to buy 16 billion dollars' worth of equipment without a competitive bid. We would not run a small business like that, so we cannot run the Department of National Defence that way.

How can the Prime Minister stand and assure business people across the—

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, there was a competitive process held under the previous government to choose this plane. In fact, the Government of Canada, under the previous government, has funded the development of this aircraft. What are we to do when the CF-18 reaches the end of its useful life: simply ground the air force or spend more money on a second set of planes?

The government's position is clear. It is straightforward. The opposition is simply playing politics with the lives of air force members and with jobs in the Canadian aerospace industry.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should get out around the country and listen to what Canadians are saying. He should have an open town hall and he should listen because they think this is a $16 billion mistake. Nobody wants to ground the air force. The issue is about getting value for money, getting our priorities straight, digging us out of a $56 billion deficit, attaching our priorities to what matters to Canadians.

We can have a competitive bid, save the money and use it to help families take care of their loved ones. Why not?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party always tries to play these political games with military purchases. We saw what it did with the helicopters, and we are still paying for that.

If the Leader of the Opposition is serious about talking to Canadians, he can go to Montreal or he can go to Winnipeg, like I did. He can go to the shop floors of the aerospace industry and tell those people he is going to tear up their jobs by tearing up the contract because he does not care about them.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chair of the government operations and estimates committee.

The committee has learned about spending on glow sticks for the RCMP and money wasted draining a quarry to build temporary police headquarters, but we have no details on spending for the Ontario Provincial Police.

Could the chair tell the House if the upcoming agenda for the committee will include looking at and reviewing detailed spending of the OPP at the G8 and G20 summits?