This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was veterans.

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 West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Municipal ElectionsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House today to congratulate everyone who let their names stand in the municipal elections recently held in Ontario. Municipal elections are an important part of democracy. Those who do run deserve the thanks of all the citizens they serve.

To all those recently elected officials, there is a big job ahead. The difficult financial times are not all behind us. The future will take a great deal of their time and effort to manage the expectations and needs of their communities.

In particular, I would like to welcome back Mayors McKay and Lupton, recently elected Mayor Doan and newly elected Mayors Wearn, Mayberry, Comiskey, Lessif and Pat Sobeski, a former member of the House. I look forward to working with and supporting all eight of Oxford county's municipal councils and the Oxford County Council.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in memory of the victims of a terrible massacre against Sikhs that took place in India in 1984. Pogroms encouraged by the state killed thousands of innocent Sikh men, women and children, raped women, looted and set fire to Sikh homes, businesses and gurdwaras.

In memory of these victims, the Sikh nation has donated blood year after year across Canada to save over 50,000 lives.

To this day, there have been no convictions for these acts of hate. Canada is a country founded on human rights and I encourage all members of the House to join me in remembering the fallen and calling on the Indian government to bring those responsible to justice.

Saguenay FjordStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion that it officially support the proposal to inscribe the Saguenay Fjord site on Canada's tentative list for 2014, in anticipation of a recognition as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The unanimous adoption of this motion is a strong endorsement of the process I initiated with the help of Dr. Jules Dufour and my colleague from Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, in order to get the Saguenay Fjord on this list of world wonders. Representatives from the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and Haute-Côte-Nord regions strongly support this proposal and are working together to promote it.

Quebec recognizes the unique and exceptional value of the Saguenay Fjord as a natural site and believes that it is important to have it recognized by UNESCO. Now it is up to the Canadian government to lend its support.

Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary DemocracyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. This is a group that every year chooses 70 outstanding teachers from across the country. They are chosen for their intelligence, passion and dedication to our democratic system.

They come to better understand our parliamentary system and to better understand the working lives of members of Parliament from right across this land. They do this to better inspire their students, to better inform and educate the next generation of voters and Canadian citizens as to the meaning of our democratic institutions, as to their proper place and, indeed, for their responsibilities.

Teachers are mentors and guides to our young people at some of the most critical times in their lives. We celebrate the Teachers Institute and we celebrate our teachers. I say bravo.

The Learning PartnershipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, every year on the first Wednesday in November, thousands of grade nine students participate in The Learning Partnership's take our kids to work program. Now in its 16th year, this program sees students take part in a daylong job shadowing experience at businesses and organizations across Canada.

This year, The Learning Partnership, in conjunction with the Scotiabank group, ran the second annual ultimate dream job contest to coincide with the take our kids to work program. This national online photo contest gave students the chance to prepare for the future by exploring their career opportunities.

This year's grand prize winner is Melanie Renn from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, who was chosen by over 10,000 voters. Melanie's dream job is to become an archaeologist. Her thirst for knowledge and fascination with solving puzzles gave her entry the winning edge. As part of her grand prize, Melanie is in Ottawa today to meet with the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House.

I congratulate Melanie and hope she enjoys her day.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we approach the solemn occasion of Remembrance Day and pay tribute to the sacrifices made by our veterans in times of war, let us not forget those members of our Canadian Forces who have returned from service and who are haunted by trauma, depression and anxiety.

Studies show that operational stress injuries can lead to long-term psychiatric conditions. Sadly, the mission in Afghanistan has also shown us these psychological consequences of combat.

In 2008, the military ombudsman made several recommendations on how the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces could further help Canadian soldiers and their families cope with the dangers of operational stress injuries. Last year, the Standing Committee on National Defence released another report making many similar recommendations.

On behalf of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, I urge the government to work harder to implement all of the remaining recommendations from these reports and, most specifically, those related to improving services and support to military families. The enduring sacrifice our soldiers have made while serving their country needs to be honoured.

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary ProgramStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize 23 youthful delegates from Ukraine who have visited with us for the past two months. They are here in members' offices to gain valuable perspectives of Canada's most important democratic institution, the Parliament of Canada.

These young people, representing the Canada-Ukraine parliamentary program, embody the highest ideals of achievement and community service. They are the future leaders of Ukraine, young people, like Solomia Borshosh, from my office.

Canada and Ukraine are inextricably linked forever by prior migration. Fully one in thirty Canadians are of Ukrainian descent, as are my wife, daughters and granddaughters.

Ukraine holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians. Canada was the first country in the western world to accord diplomatic recognition in 1991 to an independent Ukraine.

As the young emissaries depart, we wish them well and say to them:

[Member spoke in Ukrainian]

Jean-Charles Bonenfant FoundationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to acknowledge the presence on Parliament Hill of the 2010-11 recipients of the Fondation Jean-Charles-Bonenfant scholarships, who have come to find out how the Canadian Parliament works.

Each year, the foundation gives five young Quebec university graduates the opportunity to participate in a 10-month internship at the Quebec National Assembly. This placement gives them behind-the-scenes experience with the parliamentary system and a chance to learn about the members' duties.

This initiative also honours the memory of Jean-Charles Bonenfant and his outstanding contribution to public knowledge of our democratic institutions.

Their presence here demonstrates their interest in our political institutions and, who knows, perhaps they will replace some of us here one day.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to welcome the young Quebec university graduates, Évelyne, Alex, Dominic, Loïc and Guillaume. We hope that your time here will be most enriching.

National 4-H MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, National 4-H Month kicks off with the annual “Show your Colours Day” starting November 3.

This government is a proud supporter of 4-H and its contribution towards Canadian agriculture. In budget 2010, we announced an additional $3 million in support of 4-H.

I was a member in the Kneehill Valley 4-H Beef Club growing up and I will never forget our 4-H motto: head, heart, hands and health. The mandate of 4-H has never changed as it still inspires our youth to become leaders in our communities.

Thousands of Canadians across Canada, like me and many of my rural colleagues, were given opportunities through 4-H to grow from personal competition.

4-H has a long history of developing responsible citizens and building confidence in our youth. This is why this government will continue to support them.

I would like to congratulate all 4-H members and the 4-H council for their great work and to wish them good luck in showing their colours.

IraqStatements By Members

November 3rd, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 30, 2010, 50 women and children belonging to the Syrian Catholic community of Baghdad were brutally slaughtered along with two young priests. Twenty more people were seriously wounded. Members of the Syrian Catholic community from all over the world now living in Laval, Montreal, Toronto and elsewhere in Canada are deeply concerned about what could happen to Christians living in Iraq.

We are asking the Government of Canada to waste no time intervening with the Iraqi government to ensure the safety of Christians caught in the crossfire, thereby showing the world that fighting for human rights means more than just words.

National Seniors Safety WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, next week marks National Seniors Safety Week, sponsored by the Canadian Safety Council. This year's theme is “Preventing Elder Abuse” and it provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about elder abuse and about the safety precautions that seniors can take.

Recently our government launched the second phase of a national awareness campaign entitled “Elder Abuse: It's Time to Face the Reality”. This important campaign will run until December.

Estimates suggest that between 4% and 10% of seniors in Canada experience some kind of abuse, but we know that elder abuse is often hidden and under-reported. Forms of abuse include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, financial and neglect. Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to abuse.

I encourage all Canadians to take the time to educate themselves about the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. We should all take active measures to detect and prevent the exploitation of older Canadians.

Woman Abuse Awareness and Prevention MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, November is Woman Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in the province of Ontario. This year the London Abused Women's Centre has launched a new fall campaign called “Shine the Light on Woman Abuse”.

Too often the issue of woman abuse and violence against women has been greeted with silence. The London Abused Women's Centre is determined to put a purple spotlight on this issue so Canadians can continue on the path to open discussion and positive action. In addition to the many activities planned for November, the agency's goal is to raise awareness by turning the city of London purple throughout the entire month.

Purple is a symbol of courage, survival and honour and has come to symbolize the fight to end woman abuse. LAWC is encouraging local businesses, schools, churches and neighbourhoods to decorate their stores, offices, classrooms, places of worship and homes with purple lights, balloons, streamers, simply anything purple.

Please remember that November 15 has been designated as wear purple day.

Protection of ChildrenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government supports safer streets and communities. Today, the Minister of Justice announced that our government is taking a number of steps to protect children from sexual predators.

The Conservative government is committed to making our streets and communities safer for Canadian families. The government is confirming today that it has written to Craigslist officials, asking them to remove classified ads for erotic services from their Canadian websites.

We are concerned that such advertisements may be facilitating serious criminal offences, such as living off the avails of child prostitution and trafficking in persons. It is important to note that these ads have already been removed from the American Craigslist website and other large competitors have also removed them.

Our government is committed to taking action to protect children.

Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of FrancophonesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 29 and 30, 2010, I attended the 37th annual general meeting of the Fédération des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador at the Centre scolaire et communautaire Sainte-Anne in Grand'Terre on the Port au Port peninsula.

The challenges ahead are considerable; rampant assimilation, the exodus of young people, the lack of resources, and difficulty recruiting and retaining staff are some that come to mind.

Also on the agenda was the unveiling of the very impressive Acadian Odyssey commemorative monument at the Boutte du Cap Park in Cape St. George.

Françoise Enguehard, a writer and president of the Société nationale de l'Acadie, enlightened us about the francophone presence in Newfoundland since 1504.

The Bloc Québécois would like to congratulate the president of the FFTNL, Jules Custodio, and all the members of his team, who work tirelessly to ensure that Franco-Newfoundlanders' and Franco-Labradorians' language and culture continue to flourish.

Long live the FFTNL.

Media Literacy WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Marshall McLuhan wrote, “New media are not just mechanical gimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression”.

This week we are celebrating the fifth annual Media Literacy Week.

Media literacy has evolved with the arrival of cyberspace. Are these new technologies enriching or impoverishing our culture, knowledge and sense of community? What challenges come with regulating a borderless medium like the Internet?

This year's theme deals with gender stereotypes in the media. Despite many accomplishments, sexist prejudices against women still exist in the media, so we need to constantly re-evaluate what we read, what we say and what we write. As public figures, we must be leaders in the fight against gender stereotypes.

The challenges surrounding media's transformative capacity is not something to fear, but to acknowledge, for as McLuhan also said, “We become what we behold. We shape our tool and then our tools shape us”.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is standing up for new immigrants who choose to come to Canada; the immigrants who make the choice to work hard and play by the rules. Our Conservative government stands up for immigrants who choose to make a home in Canada.

The Liberal leader's immigration spokesman wants to have it both ways. Instead of telling Canadians whether they support more, less or stable levels of immigration, the Liberals opportunistically adopted every position possible and hoped no one would notice.

This week the Liberal immigration spokesman said that Canada should not raise immigration levels. He then said the opposite, saying that the government should raise immigration levels.

On immigration and the economy, the Liberals are all error, all opportunism, all the time. The Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians or new immigrants; he is in it for himself.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, when I asked the Prime Minister to block the sale of PotashCorp, he replied that it did not matter whether it was American-controlled or Australian-controlled. He is wrong. Canadians do not wish to lose control of their strategic resources. The government is being hesitant, evasive and contradictory.

When will the government assume its responsibilities and say no to the sale of PotashCorp?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's position is clear: we obey the law. The government must listen to all parties interested in this transaction before it makes a decision. Obviously, it is not a simple transaction. I am confident that the minister will make a decision that is in the best interests of Canada in the long term.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this takeover deal has been mishandled from the beginning.

The Prime Minister said in the House that it was a proposal for an American-controlled company to be taken over by an Australian-controlled company, which is patently false. Everyone in Saskatchewan knows that this takeover will put at risk jobs, head offices and revenue for the government of Saskatchewan.

When will the government listen to Saskatchewan, listen to the prairie provinces, listen perhaps to members of his caucus and say no to the potash deal?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is a fascinating position from a party that did not just approve some transactions, did not just approve most transactions, but rubber-stamped every transaction for 13 years.

As we have said repeatedly, the government has been listening to all the facts of the issue from all the interested parties. Obviously there are very passionate views in many quarters on this. After having listened and having done his proper due diligence, I am confident the Minister of Industry will come out with a decision later today that reflects the best long-term interests of the Canadian economy.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what sets this deal apart is it is the largest resource takeover deal in Canadian history and the government has been all over the place on this issue. It has sometimes hinted yes, then it has hinted yes, but with conditions.

Why does the government not understand that the only answer that will serve the interests of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, the Prairies and the future resource development in Canada is a simple word, no?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is a fascinating position from a party that no matter how large previous transactions were, it rubber-stamped them all.

The fact is, as we have said, the government has taken no position. The government has taken all of the time necessary to ensure it listens to all parties in this issue. Unlike the rubber-stamp policies of the previous government or the anti-foreign investment policies of the NDP, this government will make a considered decision that is in the best interests of the Canadian economy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on another matter, for four years, the Prime Minister has been saying that we can do nothing about climate change until there is an action plan from Washington. The Minister of the Environment has confirmed that after yesterday's results, we cannot expect much from Washington.

When will this government stop following the Americans and give us a Canadian plan on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is dealing with climate change in three ways. There are national actions; we are investing a great deal in green technologies. There are continental approaches that some of our industries need. We are also taking a global approach; we are part of the Copenhagen accord. I still do not know the Liberal Party's position on this international accord.