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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forest.

Topics

2 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 Thunder Bay—Superior North.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Grey CupStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday, Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton East will be home turf for what undoubtedly will be a grand exhibition of grit and determination as two Canadian professional football teams square off in the 98th Grey Cup championship.

At stake are bragging rights for a year, a ring of some personal significance, and the victorious team's coveted possession of Governor General Earl Grey's contribution to football in Canada, the Grey Cup.

Two proud seasoned teams do battle this Sunday to contest the prize. The Montreal Alouettes, victors in the Eastern Conference will do their utmost to wrest this prize from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who most certainly will have something to say about this effort.

As the Grey Cup game approaches, the party has already begun as players and visitors converge in Edmonton as we speak.

All that remains to be said is, “Go, Riders, go”.

National Cord Blood BankStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, if we knew something could save a life, would we throw it away? Probably not.

Every time a baby is born and the umbilical cord is discarded, that is exactly what we are doing. We are throwing away the chance for someone to receive a life-saving transplant.

Expanding the use of umbilical cord blood in Canada can have a tremendous impact in the treatment of leukemia and 70 other diseases. Fifty-two countries have already set up cord blood banks to enhance medical care and research. We have not.

The need for a national cord blood bank is urgent. It would provide physicians with easy access to the tools required to save lives. Most important, it would give hope and care to sick Canadians and their families who are waiting for treatment.

For every three successful transplants performed, one patient on the waiting list dies for lack of an appropriate match.

We need the government to take leadership on this important issue, and we need all members of this House to support any and all initiatives designed to increase the availability of cord blood to save lives. We need a new national approach. We need action now.

Montreal Druze HouseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, November 14, the Druze house was inaugurated in Montreal. The house sends a strong signal that the Druze community has put down roots in Quebec. It also says that these people have chosen to build their future there.

The children of the five-coloured star enhance Quebec's identity with values on which great peoples are founded and endure: the importance of solidarity, the duty of remembrance and the love of children.

Gilles Vigneault's words are still relevant today:

In this land of blizzards My father had a house built And I'm going to be true To his ways, to his example My guest room will be the one That you come back to, season after season To build beside it

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining, FNWARM, is in Ottawa this week to meet with MPs and discuss their ideas on how to protect British Columbians and others from poor mining practices.

They have learned first-hand how the promise of riches can turn into destroyed lands and low-paying jobs.

FNWARM seeks to promote environmentally sound mining exploration and development processes that respect first nations' rights and full participation.

This coalition of women from around northern B.C. believes it is possible to find environmentally committed companies that genuinely want to build partnerships with first nations. Companies realize that times are changing and that their future depends on shifting the way they do business.

These women support efforts to resolve rights and land title as they know it will be a catalyst to mining reform. They are also committed to building better relationships with industry so the necessary changes to legislation and business practices are made.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating FNWARM for its work.

Junior HockeyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, volunteers in Fort McMurray have organized the first outdoor junior hockey game in Canadian history.

This Friday night, November 26, fans will cheer on Fort McMurray Oil Barons and the Drayton Valley Thunder hockey teams in the biggest gathering of fans in the history of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

The rink, ice machine and native youth flown and bused in from isolated communities are all courtesy of local businesses, and all proceeds of the game will actually be given to local charities.

This sold-out Northern Classic event represents the spirit of northern Alberta: big dreamers that make their dreams a reality.

Today I would like to congratulate the Northern Classic organizing committee and all the citizens of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo for showing us once again that we in northern Alberta are really Canada's northern light.

This Friday night I ask everyone to tune into TSN for the best quality hockey in the country. And, of course, “Go, Oil Barons, go”.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, we knew the Conservatives had no plan for Canada to take action on climate change but, sadly, we now know their strategy is to obstruct others' actions.

A report released this week reveals that the governments of Canada and Alberta have been working together to soften climate policies outside our borders. Instead of reducing pollution from the oil sands, the Conservatives are shamelessly trying to undermine other countries' efforts.

Last Tuesday, the Conservatives killed a climate bill in an unprecedented and undemocratic move. Without a single word of debate, unelected Conservative senators defeated climate legislation already studied and passed by the majority of elected members of Parliament.

Just a few weeks before major UN talks on climate change, the environment portfolio has been handed to a minister who has shown that he cares little about Canadian accountability on this issue.

The government has no plan to fight climate change. Its ministers have made our country a climate laughingstock. As the world's heads of state converge on Cancun to contribute to solutions, perhaps Canada should simply stay home.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Conservative Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, each year, the Governor General and the Canada Council for the Arts collaborate to honour the finest in Canadian literature.

The Governor General said, “These artists, through their passion, ignite our love of reading with every new book”.

I wish to especially celebrate the achievement of a Richmond constituent, a teacher and librarian at A. R. MacNeill Secondary School. Wendy Phillips won the 2010 award for her children's book Fishtailing.

The jury stated, “In this highly inventive, poetic narrative, four compelling characters take the reader on a wild ride through the dangerous terrain of friendships threatened by manipulative acts. Wendy Phillips creates a powerful momentum in Fishtailing that leaves the reader breathless”.

I congratulate Wendy on her fine achievement in literature. Richmond is proud of her.

Joliette Local Development CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to congratulate the local development centre in Joliette, which won the Grands prix de la ruralité award for excellence in innovation for its project entitled “Vieillir en demeurant dans sa communauté rurale”.

This innovative project aims to stop the exodus of seniors to urban centres and proves that people can grow older without having to leave the community they grew up in and spent their lives in.

I would particularly like to congratulate Céline Beaudoin, the coordinator of the project, René Vincent, the president of the Pacte rural of the RCM of Joliette, and Dominique Masse, the rural development advisor for the LDC in Joliette, who all made this project possible.

The LDC in Joliette has no plans to stop anytime soon. It is continuing to discuss and to explore the possibility of opening a mobile library and of offering information sessions to seniors on nutrition, safety and transportation.

I congratulate the organizers of this project once again and I encourage them to continue the excellent work they are doing for seniors in the RCM of Joliette.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the government and the people of Cambodia in the aftermath of Monday's devastating stampede in Phnom Penh. Cambodians were celebrating the final day of their national water festival when the tragedy struck, resulting in over 450 deaths with hundreds more injured. We also wish a speedy recovery for those injured.

I also wish to express our deepest condolences and sympathies to the Government of New Zealand for the deaths which resulted from the mining explosion. I would like to extend our sympathies to the families and friends of those who were killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

Work from Home DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to lend my voice to over 50,000 Canadians who have joined a Facebook campaign calling for a national work from home day.

Studies indicate that working from home increases overall employee productivity by 10% to 20%, improves employee morale and opens up opportunities for underemployed Canadians, such as those with disabilities.

If one million Canadians worked at home just one day a week, we would save 250 million kilograms of CO2 emissions, 100 million litres of fuel and 800 million fewer kilometres of mileage on our highways every year.

Our changing economy needs to embrace the new ways of working which also appreciate the social responsibility we have to our environment.

I congratulate Workopolis, its president, Gabriel Bouchard, and the many thousands of Canadians who are asking the government and the House to join the campaign for better productivity, better work-life balance, more inclusion and a better environment.

I say, way to go. Let us work from home. It works for all of us.

Government SpendingStatements By Members

November 24th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, with the global economic recovery still fragile, Canadian families are taking a hard look at their budgets, tightening their belts and making tough choices about how they spend their money. They expect the same of their government. Controlling spending is key to a balanced budget, whether running a household or governing a country.

Today we are continuing to show respect for taxpayer dollars by toughening the rules on spending by bureaucrats. These new actions include ensuring that all spending by bureaucrats on travel, conferences and hospitality are approved by deputy ministers and reported to the public each year. We are also restricting all spending on alcohol and entertainment.

Today's action is another example of our efforts to eliminate waste, to ensure the government lives within its means and to keep taxes low for hard-working Canadian families.

Foreign TakeoversStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to speak on the devastating impact of foreign takeovers gone wrong on women and our communities. Time and time again it has been proven that women experience greater hardship when economic conditions are more difficult.

While the government has claimed that it is working for economic growth and the creation of jobs, its support for Vale says the opposite. Instead of sticking to its commitment to growing communities, Vale is ripping apart my home community, Thompson, by announcing the stripping of over 600 jobs. The loss of these jobs affects women working in the smelter and refinery, but it also affects women working hard to raise their families and hold up our community.

Women in Thompson and across the north, as well as women in resource-based communities across Canada, have worked hard to give our country the wealth we have. They deserve to have a federal government stand up for them and their communities. We all deserve to have a federal government that comes to the table to find solutions, leaves corporate welfare aside and looks out for the people, the Canadian people.

Government SpendingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today our government announced tighter guidelines for civil servants who attend conferences, travel for business purposes or spend money on hospitality in the name of the federal government.

With the global economic recovery still fragile, Canadian families are taking a hard look at their budgets, tightening their belts and making tough choices about how to spend their money. They expect their government to do the same. After all, whether you are running a household or governing a country, controlling spending is key to a balanced budget.

The guidelines announced today further prove that our government is making an effort to eliminate waste, to ensure that it is living within its means and to keep taxes low for hard-working Canadian families.

Child PovertyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, 21 years ago today, this Parliament unanimously adopted a motion calling on the federal government to establish a plan to eradicate child poverty.

It is difficult to understand why barely any progress has been made in this area. Two decades later, the problem still exists and one in ten children lives in poverty.

Campaign 2000 confirmed this in its annual report, released today, which focuses on the absolutely devastating effects that poverty has on children's health: increased risk of diabetes, asthma, malnutrition, addiction, mental illness, physical disabilities and premature death.

We know how to end poverty. All that is lacking is the government's political will to act.

Eveline ApokoStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Eveline Apoko is a hero.

When she was 10 years old, Eveline was abducted by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, a vile group engaged in mass rapes, mutilation, murder and the kidnapping and sexual enslavement of more than 20,000 children. During her abduction as a 12 year old, a bomb ripped off half of her face while she was protecting a baby. Eveline escaped the LRA by walking through the bush.

Today she is a voice for the hundreds of thousands of children worldwide who are forced to become child soldiers, their childhood stolen from them. Her charity, Strongheart Fellowship, will give hope to these children.

On behalf of Parliament, I would like to honour Eveline Apoko for her courage, love and compassion as a messenger for peace and a beacon of hope to the world's most brutalized children.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the member for Ajax—Pickering stood in the House on a point order, saying questions should have, in his words, a “modicum of truth”.

Here is the real question. The member says that he wants the truth. However, can he handle the truth? At Monday's public safety committee meeting, the Liberal public safety critic gave credence to pleas from convicted criminals who wanted to keep Canada's pardon system as is. He said, “Aren't we in fact endangering public safety by saying to those people there is no light at the end of the tunnel?” We disagree. When will the member start showing as much compassion for the victims of crime as he does for the perpetrators?

I am proud to say that the Conservative Party has always been on the side of victims. We call on the opposition to finally listen to victims and to support Bill C-23B, a bill that would deny child sex offenders the right to ever receive a pardon.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this government lost Canada's seat on the UN Security Council. It lost the military base that our soldiers in Afghanistan depended on. Last year in Copenhagen, it lost all influence over the fight against climate change. Next week in Cancun, it will be sending a part-time environment minister.

Does the Prime Minister understand just how much his indifference to the environment has cost Canada's reputation around the world?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that the Copenhagen accord has targeted greenhouse gas reductions that are three times larger than the Kyoto protocol's targets. I would call that a success. I hope that at the Cancun conference we will reach an agreement for mandatory greenhouse gas reductions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there have been five years of the Conservative government, three and a half ministers of the environment and still no plan. Last year the government did nothing during the Copenhagen debate. Next week it will send the part-time Minister of the Environment. He might as well go on a beach holiday for all the good he will do.

Why does the government not listen to those Canadians who long for leadership by Canada on the environment on the international stage?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the reductions that various countries have committed to under the Copenhagen accord are apparently three times larger than those foreseen in the Kyoto protocol. Therefore, there is a success that Canada was a part of last year. I hope at Cancun this year the world will continue to build on that success.

Our position is clear. All major emitters have to make reductions. I know that is not the position of the Liberal Party, but we think countries like China have to contribute.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is the opportunities we are missing that are staring us in the face. We could be leading in clean energy. We could be leading in emissions control. We could be leading in energy efficiency. Instead we are falling behind because the government does not have a plan, does not have an environmental vision. We are losing the chance to be green energy leaders to all the other countries.

When will the government understand that its indifference to the environment is costing Canadian jobs and costing our kids their future?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in all of these things, in the development of clean energy and clean technology, this government is spending a lot of money as a world leader. It is only the Liberal Party and its allies that have voted against these investments.

Canada is moving ahead. It is only the Liberal Party that is falling behind.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister lost all fiscal credibility with Canadians when he sole-sourced the biggest Canadian military contract ever without giving a single credible reason for not holding a competition. This new anti-tendering habit will waste billions of Canadian taxpayer hard-earned dollars and cost Canadians thousands of jobs, and the price of the fighter jets is still rising with no end in sight.

Could the Minister of Finance think of a better example of a risky scheme involving taxpayer dollars?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows full well, it was his party that started this process. We will continue to pursue what is the best aircraft on the planet with tremendous benefits to the Canadian aerospace industry, including in and around the city that the hon. member purports to represent.

I would encourage him, as a former member of the Canadian Forces, to support what is the best thing for the Canadian Forces, our aerospace industry and our economy, bringing thousands of jobs and great benefits to our country.