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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was review.

Topics

Grey CupStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, last year the Saskatchewan Roughriders came within a hair's breadth of winning the Grey Cup. This Sunday, green vengeance will sweep over the Alouettes in Edmonton. The green and white will end their 100th season in victory, to the delight of nearly 100% of the fans in attendance.

There is a reason the Roughriders sell more CFL merchandise than all the other teams combined. Decades of socialist oppression forced the residents of Saskatchewan to scatter across this great country. Yet they always carried Saskatchewan and Rider pride in their hearts. It is why Canada has now became Rider nation. As the premier reminds us, we have never won a cup with the NDP in power.

Saskatchewan is growing in numbers and reaching her full potential, thanks to Premier Brad Wall's leadership. Likewise, under the leadership of coach Ken Miller and quarterback Darian Durant, the Roughriders have fought their way to the top once again.

This shall be our finest hour. Congratulations Saskatchewan. Au revoir, Montreal.

Sainte-Élisabeth and Sanankoroba CommunitiesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak about the twinning between the municipality of Sainte-Élisabeth and the Malian community of Sanankoroba. For 25 years, these two communities have been working together on various strategic projects. This venture has resulted in friendly relations based on mutual respect.

On November 6, I attended a rally in Sainte-Élisabeth. More than 200 people, including the mayor, Mario Houle, attended our gala where we celebrated this 25th anniversary of the collaboration with emotion and mutual admiration, and also raised money to buy a tractor for Sanankoroba.

A few years ago, the village was going through some tough times, but things have turned around since then. This shows how beneficial twinning can be and how the people of Sainte-Élisabeth have helped improve the situation.

Congratulations to the Des Mains pour Demain committee, the municipal authorities and the entire population of Sainte-Élisabeth.

Grey CupStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, determination, courage and passion. These terms describe our Montreal Alouettes who, this weekend, will try to win the prestigious Grey Cup championship for the second consecutive year.

In front of a roaring crowd at the east division final in Montreal last Sunday, the Alouettes pummelled the Toronto Argonauts.

In this year's final game, our Larks will meet the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a fight to the finish. But Marc Trestman's team will not back down.

Our pride in the Alouettes will continue to be immense when they win the Canadian Football League championship once again.

On behalf of everyone in the Quebec Conservative caucus, I wish the Alouettes the best of luck. Go Alouettes go.

Oscar DuquetteStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the memory of Mr. Oscar Duquette.

Born in Hull on May 28, 1896, he worked as a firefighter for the old City of Hull and then as an RCMP officer. However, it is his major contribution to the improvement of the Hull sector of the current city of Gatineau that I would like to speak about today.

Oscar Duquette initiated two major projects: the Lac-des-Fées parkway and the large lighted cross that has been shining from the highest point of Columbia Park since 1950 and can be seen from most of the city.

Last Saturday, I had the honour of participating in a ceremony in memory of this great pioneer. Over 80 members of the Duquette family were in attendance. From now on, when we drive on Allumettières boulevard over the Lac-des-Fées parkway, we will be driving on the viaduct named in his memory.

Let us celebrate together the memory of Oscar Duquette and of all our great builders.

Long live the family of Oscar Duquette!

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about an important initiative to end violence against women. As we all know, ending violence against women requires a co-operative approach involving governments of all levels, community groups and individuals.

The invitation to men to be part of the solution is essential and should be commended. Take, for example, the Ending Violence Association of B.C., a community group that recently engaged in an educational initiative and a subsequent video entitled Men Speak Up: Ending Violence Together.

This initiative aimed to change attitudes that condone behaviours related to violence against women and to provide men with tangible skills and information to talk with their peers about violence against women. Six hundred and sixteen participants were trained or engaged, and EVA B.C. should be applauded for its efforts.

This is just one of the many examples of men becoming part of the solution, demonstrating strength and standing up for something as critical as ending violence against women.

Food BanksStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, while seniors and families in my riding of Welland go hungry, the government is spending millions of dollars on treating their friends to rounds of golf and massages at high-end spas, right when folks are struggling the most to make ends meet.

A record 870,000 Canadians are using food banks, 80,000 for the first time. Over the past two years, food bank usage has risen by more than 25%, and 31% of food banks do not have enough food to meet that need.

This winter I will join with community members by participating in the Port Colborne-Wainfleet food bank diet challenge, committing to live off a food bank diet for three days. Organized by Lori Kleinsmith and her team at Bridges Community Health Centre of Port Colborne, this challenge is meant to bring awareness to the desperate situation that so many are facing in my riding.

I applaud the Bridges Community Health Centre's youth health promotion team for organizing this important initiative, because in a country like Canada, no one should go hungry.

Korean PeninsulaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government and, indeed, all Canadians are committed to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Canada reiterates its firm support for the Republic of Korea and urges North Korea to abide by the Korean armistice agreement.

We once again extend our condolences to the families of those who were killed and injured as a result of an unprovoked attack by North Korea earlier this week. Canada will continue to condemn all acts of aggression by North Korea in violation of international law.

Recently, Canada announced the termination of all official bilateral contacts between the Government of Canada and the North Korean regime, with the exception of those necessary to address regional security concerns, human rights and the humanitarian situation in North Korea.

Our government will continue to vigorously defend the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world.

Michel DruckerStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Michel Drucker, an iconic French television personality and a long-time admirer of Quebec, was made an officer of the Ordre national du Québec.

Michel Drucker has done a lot for Quebec in France, and has done even more for our artists. He has helped launch many of their careers in Europe. As he has said himself, “Quebec artists have always amazed me; they are unique.”

A knight since 2001, Quebec has now made Michel Drucker an officer. He considers Quebec to be his second country. Few individuals from outside the country have received such honours.

Mr. Drucker, my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I are proud to offer you our sincere congratulations on these huge honours, and we, along with all Quebeckers, are proud to share this great friendship.

Sergei MagnitskyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in memory and in tribute to the heroic Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered the largest tax fraud in Russian history and paid for it with his life. While his story is one of great moral courage, his saga shines a spotlight on the pervasive culture of corruption and impunity implicating senior government officials in Russia today. Tragically, Magnitsky is but the latest in a list of Russian heroes who lost their lives standing up for principle, truth and the rule of law.

Although the world was outraged at the case of Sergei, who was tortured and who died in prison, corrupt Russian officials were never brought to justice and were even rewarded.

Accordingly, we must call upon Russia to bring the perpetrators to justice; stand in solidarity with Russian human rights defenders; deny entry to Russian officials implicated in this criminality; and remember and honour the heroic sacrifice of Sergei Magnitsky. We can do no less.

Conservative Candidate for VaughanStatements By Members

November 26th, 2010 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past several weeks, members of the Liberal Party have attacked and denigrated the character and integrity of Julian Fantino, the former commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police and now Conservative candidate in Vaughan.

This is Liberal hypocrisy at its finest, given that it was revealed today that both the Liberal leader and his chief of staff, Peter Donolo, personally tried to recruit Mr. Fantino to run for them. The Liberals wanted Julian Fantino to be their candidate in Vaughan. He was their first choice. In fact, after he said no, the Liberal leader told a radio host in Halifax this morning that his party went to several other people before finally settling on Tony Genco, its fourth or fifth choice.

It is only fair for the people of Vaughan to know that Mr. Fantino was not only the Conservatives' first choice but he was also the Liberals' first choice.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, we have uncovered a Conservative directive that will drastically cut pension incomes for up to 1.5 million lower income Canadian seniors. Effective May 17, 2010, seniors who make an emergency withdrawal from a registered retirement income fund, as they try to cope with unexpected emergencies such as medical costs and urgent home repair, will lose government pension benefits as a result.

Will the minister now confirm to the House that this is indeed her new and, up until now, secret pension policy for seniors, and, if they have not done so already, will her cabinet colleagues force her to rescind the policy?

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I was very concerned by what was reported this morning and that is why I have instructed departmental officials to immediately put a hold on this policy while we review it completely. I have also instructed officials to contact those individuals affected directly so that their applications can be reviewed and evaluated for eligibility under the old policy.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, review is not reversal. There has been no notice, no consultation, no information and no compassion. The minister now says that it is brand new information. Allow me to table letters the minister signed to senior citizens across Canada informing them of this policy just recently. Now she says that she will review it.

Well, 1.5 million lower income Canadians have just been told that all is on the table when it comes to pension income.

Will the minister, or at least her cabinet colleagues, not just review this policy but reverse it and table changes to the Old Age Security Act to prevent it from ever happening again?

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has done more than any previous government, including the hon. member's party when it was government, to support seniors. That is why we are taking steps immediately to put this policy on hold. We want to ensure we are treating seniors fairly, which is why my officials have been instructed to contact the individuals affected directly and to immediately re-evaluate their applications and their eligibility according to the original policy.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, seniors deserve a pension system they can trust, not another double-cross like income trusts.

The Conservatives did it all right. They did it to seniors. They did it in the Senate when it came to Nortel pensioners.

How can the Conservatives look at 1.5 million senior citizens at a time when we are moving more and more into seniors' poverty, 25% more. What are the Conservatives going to do? They are going to do a review. They stuck it to 1.5 million pensioners in this country and all they are going to do is review it. They must act immediately to change the OAS Act.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to helping seniors, it is our government that brought in pension income splitting. The Liberals voted against that. We are the ones who brought forward increases to the age credit. The Liberals voted against that. These are programs that would leave more money in seniors' pockets.

On this other issue, we will be immediately contacting the individuals affected to ensure their applications can be reviewed under the old policy. No change there. However, we are supporting seniors to ensure they have more money in their pockets, not voting against those initiatives as the Liberals have done consistently.

PensionsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, seniors and retirees deserve something better than backroom cuts made on the sly. The Minister of Finance is colluding with the Prime Minister to make the most vulnerable seniors in our society pay for his fiscal incompetence.

Would he be doing this if his parents depended on the guaranteed income supplement?

Why is the Minister of Finance not trimming fat from the Prime Minister's Office instead of taxing registered retirement income funds?

PensionsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we want to help seniors. And that is what we have been doing since we formed the government nearly five years ago. When I learned of this situation, I instructed my officials to immediately put this policy on hold so that we can study it thoroughly.

I also asked them to communicate with the affected individuals to reassess their applications based on the previous policy.

PensionsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not helping our seniors.

In a few weeks, disabled Nortel retirees will lose their homes because the Prime Minister refused to pass Bill S-216. In a few months, other retirees will desperately be awaiting a cheque that will never come. But the Prime Minister could not care less. He is plunging these people into despair by making them pay for his government's excesses.

If he can waste $300 million on an internal row between his ministers, could he have the decency to not hit our parents and grandparents with hidden taxes?

PensionsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think every member of Parliament and senator recognizes and sympathizes with the difficult situation facing Nortel pensioners and long-term disability recipients.

Unfortunately, in the committee studying two private member's bills on these issues, witness after witness has said that neither bill would actually help former employees of Nortel. In fact, many witnesses have pointed out that these bills would lead to more bankruptcies and could have a significant negative impact on the pensions of other Canadians.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite media reports that Ottawa was close to reaching an agreement with Quebec regarding compensation for harmonizing the QST and the GST, the Minister of Finance talked about modest progress. The QST and GST have been harmonized for 18 years now. We have been negotiating this issue for over 10 years. Ontario, British Columbia and three Atlantic provinces have already been compensated.

Can the Minister of Finance assure us that an agreement will be reached quickly on this matter, which the Government of Quebec wants to resolve with Ottawa as soon as possible?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have had some positive discussions. I spoke with my colleague, the Quebec finance minister, just this week. We have made some progress, but there are some challenges. We will continue working together.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has never been able to tell us precisely what problems are standing in the way of an agreement with Quebec regarding compensation for sales tax harmonization.

Can the Minister of Finance assure this House that Quebec's collection of the two taxes is not getting in the way of the agreement?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the discussions that take place with respect to harmonization stem from the 1990s. The previous government had harmonization discussions with some of the Atlantic provinces that were successful. There were subsequent discussions more recently with some other provinces.

There are several principles involved, but the basic principle is that the systems must actually be harmonized with only a small degree of variation. This has been consistent for all of the provinces in all of the discussions and it is what we are trying to accomplish with Quebec.

HydroelectricityOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's deputy premier has said she is willing to look at any possible way of preventing the federal government from funding a transmission line that would allow Newfoundland to compete unfairly with electricity from Quebec, which is produced without any federal assistance.

Instead of getting embroiled in a new dispute with Quebec, why does the federal government not just promise to reject this unfair request from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia?