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House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Constitution Act, 2010 (Senate Term Limits)Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that the suggestions brought forward by the government on Senate term limits are constitutional.

The member will recall that in the sixties this chamber brought the term limits down from life to the age of 75. Canadians feel overwhelmingly that a 45-year term, which is possible today, is not consistent with their values. They feel that 45 years without accountability or the ability to refresh the Senate is just too long.

Other proposals on the eight-year limit may be brought up in committee and we will hear them, because that is part of the democratic process. Non-renewable term limits would not only allow for a refreshing of the Senate, but would provide an opportunity for people to get more involved in the democratic process.

Would the member not agree--

Constitution Act, 2010 (Senate Term Limits)Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I will ask the member for Davenport to keep his remarks very short because we are about to start statements.

Constitution Act, 2010 (Senate Term Limits)Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do agree. I do appreciate the minister's effort on this very important file.

I strongly believe in term limits for senators. It is in the best interests of all Canadians and our institutions.

I would just ask the minister to make sure that we do consult with all appropriate stakeholders and the provinces. We should have a discussion at committee about whether eight years is the right amount of time or not. I will support whatever comes out of committee. But we should have something that is balanced, respectful and in keeping with our traditions.

AnaphylaxisStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, more than a million Canadians suffer from anaphylaxis, a potentially deadly medical condition caused by hypersensitivity to certain products, often food related.

The member for Niagara West—Glanbrook and I are working with families across Canada to raise awareness of life-threatening allergies.

This government takes tackling health concerns seriously, from breast cancer to heart and stroke. It is time to give anaphylaxis the same attention.

One in 13 Canadians suffers from life-threatening allergies. That is why I will be supporting Motion No. M-546 before Parliament that reads:

That, in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians, and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.

It is time to help those families affected by anaphylaxis. I encourage all members of Parliament to attend the luncheon on December 7 to discuss this important motion.

Salle André-Mathieu Theatre in LavalStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Corporation de la salle André-Mathieu de Laval was honoured on November 1 when ADISQ awarded it the Félix for entertainment presenter of the year. Awards of distinction are nothing new for the corporation. In 2004, the Conseil de la culture de Laval awarded it the Prix de la culture for its variety of performing arts programming.

The corporation was previously nominated for ADISQ awards in a number of categories and twice won the Félix for performance venue of the year. But the Félix for entertainment presenter of the year is a special honour for the corporation, because it had been a finalist for that particular award five times. This year, on its sixth nomination, it won the award. Congratulations.

As the elected representative for Laval—Les Îles, I am proud of the Salle André-Mathieu theatre. I want to congratulate all the people who had a hand in the corporation's success.

Laurence PaquetteStatements By Members

November 19th, 2010 / 11 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Laurence Paquette, a young cyclist in my riding, is the new Canadian champion and Quebec runner-up in track cycling in the under-17 category. Laurence is 16 and attends the École polyvalente Saint-Jérôme and trains with the hope of being selected to compete in the junior Pan-American track cycling championships, which will take place in Argentina in June 2011.

Every summer, Laurence competes in many races to gain as much experience as possible. This rigorous training regimen and her tenacity recently helped her win the track cycling championship in the under-17 category in Bromont, and we hope they will take her to Argentina next June.

I commend Laurence on her championship performance, and I am proud to say that this young student does an admirable job of balancing her studies and her training.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in wishing her every success in the future.

Steel IndustryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recently released Ernst & Young document presented as part of the defence of U.S. Steel in Federal Court leads one to be concerned about how the shutting down of two of its Canadian mills affected pricing within the North American steel market.

In the affidavit, Ernst & Young makes a truly breathtaking comment, that shutting down these mills was not a criminal act, but somehow a net benefit to Canada. That is right, it said it was a net benefit to Canada. It should try telling Hamilton steelworkers that.

The potential impact of these actions on pricing within the steel market is not being addressed by the current lawsuit between the Government of Canada and U.S. Steel, and it needs to be. There are not only these tactics, but we also had the destruction of the defined benefits pension system caused by U.S. Steel and a number of other foreign-owned companies in Canada.

The utter contempt for Canadians, and indeed for common decency, displayed by these tactics suggest it is high time to review the Investment Canada Act. We need to give the Canada Investment Act real teeth to ensure foreign companies will never again be allowed to operate in this manner in Canada.

I am encouraged that the government has agreed with the--

Steel IndustryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Calgary East.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I am greatly relieved that Robert Croke of Newfoundland, who was seized on November 8 in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria along with six other expatriates, has been released and is now safe.

Canadian officials are ensuring that Mr. Croke receives consular assistance, and that he will be reunited with his family as soon as possible.

We are also relieved that 12 Nigerian citizens who were taken hostage in a separate incident shortly following Mr. Croke's abduction were also released at the same time.

I was recently in Nigeria for its Independence Day celebration to further our strong, bilateral relationship with the Government of Nigeria. Let me be very clear, our mutual goal is for a safe and peaceful world.

Acts of BraveryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, last month a number of my constituents were presented with Canada's highest honours for bravery.

On August 14, 2008, master corporal David King and able seaman Jaret McQueen rescued an unconscious man from his submerged vehicle that had plunged into the Pacific Ocean.

On February 3, 2007, Victoria police officers John Ayers, Michael Johnston and Clifford Watson protected the public with their own bodies from a driver who was trying to run them over.

On July 24, 2007, Victoria police officers Dale Sleightholme and Paul Spencelayh plunged into the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean to rescue a suicidal man.

These great Canadians committed acts of extraordinary bravery. On behalf of all members of Parliament, I salute them, honour them and give thanks for their acts of extraordinary courage under extremely difficult circumstances. They are Canadian heroes.

Multiple SclerosisStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to talk about a number of brave women who have all taken a big step to try to improve their quality of life. These women all suffer from MS, and they have all either had or are scheduled to have the controversial CCSVI treatment.

Dianne Hepburn was wheelchair-bound for 18 months. Remarkably, she is slowly walking again.

Joyce Ziegler and Deb Knapp, very good friends who due to MS thought they would never again take a walk together, are now planning that walk.

Mandy Maisonneuve has enjoyed many improvements since she had the procedure.

Tammy Graver, Kathy Broeckel and Paula Harron all have dates set to have the procedure done. We wish them great success.

This procedure cannot presently be done in Canada. I know it will be someday, once clinical trials are complete. We must all work together to see that this happens as quickly as possible.

We all know that this procedure is not a cure for MS but it has certainly improved the quality of life for these women from my riding. We wish them continued improvement.

National Capital ActStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has considered Bill C-20, which would amend the National Capital Act and would protect Gatineau Park and describe its boundaries. Bill C-20 includes a number of mechanisms that would enable the NCC to eat into Quebec territory in the Outaouais region and override Quebec's jurisdictions.

In letters from minister Benoît Pelletier, in 2007, and minister Claude Béchard, in 2009, the Government of Quebec clearly indicated to the federal minister that it opposed this attack on Quebec's territorial integrity. These letters were read by parliamentarians during the study of Bill C-20, but the NDP members, the Liberals and the Conservatives ignored them. They also disregarded all of the amendments by the Bloc Québécois that would have ensured respect for Quebec's territorial integrity. What is worse, there is nothing here about consulting Quebec. That is scandalous and unacceptable.

IranStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a resolution put forward by Canada condemning Iran's deplorable human rights record was adopted by the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly.

Our government is extremely pleased by the adoption of this important human rights resolution. By condemning the deplorable situation of human rights in Iran, we are sending a clear message to the people of Iran that they are not alone in their efforts to promote human rights in their country.

With this resolution, the unacceptable human rights situation in Iran has been brought to the attention of the international community, and the Iranian authorities have been called to account for their actions.

Canada will continue to call on the Iranian authorities to take steps to end the egregious abuses of the most fundamental basic human rights of the Iranian people.

Suspension of SittingIranStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I think we will have to put off question period for today. I will ask all hon. members to leave the chamber and we will resume at the call of the Chair.

(The sitting of the House was suspended at 11:08 a.m.)

(The House resumed at 11:41 a.m.)

Sitting ResumedIranStatements By Members

11:40 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been consultations and I think you will find there is unanimous consent that the statements and question period carry on from the point at which they were interrupted.

Sitting ResumedIranStatements By Members

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is there unanimous consent to finish off statements by members and then have a full question period?

Sitting ResumedIranStatements By Members

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Rita ChenardStatements By Members

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, Franco-Ontarian towns are filled with families that often originated in Quebec. That is the case with my hometown, Mattawa, and with one of its most well-known families, the family of the late Charles and Rita Chenard.

We lost Rita, née Bérubé, the matriarch of the family, on November 1, 2010, at the age of 90.

They say that good things come in small packages. Rita, a tiny woman with a huge strength of character, gave birth to 13 children—7 boys and 6 girls—all living and lively.

Rita was wise and always calm, welcoming everyone with a bowl of soup and a smile.

Though she enjoyed relaxing with her crosswords and her soap opera, her home and her time were filled with laughter and political and philosophical discussions with her many children and their friends.

On behalf of her 13 children, their spouses, her 23 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, and on behalf of her friends and loved ones: goodbye, Rita, and thank you.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is trying to backtrack on his comments that a Filipino woman's candidacy in Winnipeg North is nothing more than a game. Yet he has failed again to explain why his Liberal candidate took the supposedly erroneous story and pushed it on his Twitter account and his website.

If there is an article that is not accurate and has insulting and offensive comments attributed to the Liberal leader, why on earth would he push it out for all to see, encouraging people to read it? Clearly the Liberal candidate believes and supports the insensitive comments that his Liberal leader was quoted as saying.

Julie Javier's candidacy is not a game. She is the only candidate on the ballot who is committed to voting against Bill C-343, the ridiculous coalition bill that would compensate the parents of young criminals if these youth are injured while committing a crime. That is an absolute insult to victims of crime.

Trans Day of RemembranceStatements By Members

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, November 20 is Trans Day of Remembrance.

In communities across Canada and around the world, transsexual and transgender people will gather with their families, friends, co-workers and allies to remember the victims of transphobic violence, some of whom died as a result of physical and sexual assault.

We will renew our commitment to ending violence, discrimination and bullying against trans people and to build a society where they can enjoy full, happy, healthy, productive, safe and secure lives.

One step toward this goal is to add gender identity and expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the Criminal Code's hate crime and sentencing provisions.

The House will again debate this proposal in the coming weeks when it considers Bill C-389 at third reading. Trans folks and their allies will be here on Parliament Hill tomorrow to show their support for this important bill.

New Democrats are proud to stand in solidarity with transsexual and transgender Canadians on Trans Day of Remembrance.

Aerospace IndustryStatements By Members

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the F-35 program is good for our aerospace industry and helps provide our troops with the best equipment, so they can do their work properly.

The Liberals' plan to cancel this important program would kill thousands of jobs, mainly in Quebec's aerospace sector.

Yesterday, the Aerospace Industry Association of Canada issued a press release calling on hon. members to vote against the Liberal motion to cancel the F-35 purchase program.

We are working to protect Canadian jobs and job creation.

By jeopardizing the F-35 program, the Liberals are jeopardizing the stability of the Canadian aerospace industry and putting related jobs and investments at risk.

Our government continues to support our men and women in uniform.

The Liberals should promote jobs and support our troops instead of playing petty politics.

Saudi ArabiaStatements By Members

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 10, UN Women elected its first executive board. This new agency “will work...to improve the status of women and girls”, said United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro. This entity, charged with ensuring that the UN's commitments to establish gender equality within its institutions are kept, is a competent authority among member states for bringing about this equality.

It is troubling to see that Saudi Arabia has a seat on this executive board. The customs and traditions of that country infringe on women's rights daily. It is a country where Nathalie Morin, a Quebecker, is stuck and being held prisoner, along with her children.

If Saudi Arabia wants to demonstrate its desire for equality and justice between men and women, then its authorities have to take the first concrete step and let Nathalie Morin and her children return to Quebec.

Men's HealthStatements By Members

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is International Men's Day and some members on all sides of the House are looking a little more hirsute than usual. That is because we are in the middle of the month of Movember, growing moustaches to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Yesterday one of Canada's leading advocates for men's health, Dr. Larry Goldenberg, was on Parliament Hill and this week he received the Order of Canada. We can improve men's health in Canada by adopting preventive health strategies, promoting healthy living and other measures.

I admit that the comments made about my efforts to look more distinguished with this new moustache have not all been flattering. However, sometimes in life, we have to show some courage.

I hope all members will join with me in celebrating International Men’s Day, as we salute our colleagues who are fighting prostate cancer under their noses.

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday when our Conservative government sought unanimous consent for a speedy passage of our Senate term limits bill, the opposition coalition refused to stand up for democracy and voted no.

Canadians have shown a clear desire for Senate reform. Unlike the opposition coalition, our government is committed to reforming Canada's Senate so it better reflects a 21st century democracy. Our Senate term limits bill would limit the term of senators to a single eight-year term instead of the current term of up to 45 years.

If the NDP and its coalition partners were truly serious about democratizing Canada's Senate, it would support our Senate reform efforts, including limiting the terms of senators.