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House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was company.

Topics

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Madam Speaker, standing head bowed in front of a war memorial is humbling. Watching a veteran struggle to his or her feet from a wheelchair when a flag is raised in support of those who served brings tears to us all. Hearing the Central Band of the Canadian Forces play Amazing Grace reminds us of the 100,000 Canadians who never came home, the sorrow many military families face and the need to honour our sacred trust today and always.

We understand that they put their lives on the line each and every day for us. Lest we forget. There is no commemoration, no praise, no tribute that can truly match the magnitude of their service and sacrifices. Honouring our veterans should be done every day and not just once a year.

All those who are serving and all those who have served, we profoundly thank them. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise today to express our concerns with the cases of Ms. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, Mr. Hossein Derakhshan and Mr. Hamid Ghassemi-Shall.

We are concerned by their continuing mistreatment at the hands of the Iranian authorities.

Iran is a signatory to the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights. As such, Iran is obligated to ensure that the rights of these detained individuals are upheld. Failure to do so is a failure by the Iranian government to meet its legal obligations.

Yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs called in the senior representative of Iran in Canada to answer for his government's continued mistreatment of Ms. Ashtiani.

Today a motion was passed unanimously in this House to express the concern of Canadians regarding the treatment of Ms. Ashtiani.

Canada and the international community will continue to hold the Iranian authorities accountable to their international obligations.

Sakineh Mohammadi AshtianiStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, in July, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year old mother of two, was sentenced to death by stoning by the Iranian justice system for committing adultery. As a result of international pressure, her sentence was overturned. However, Iran's attorney general has announced that Ms. Ashtiani's death sentence has been upheld and converted to death by hanging. She has been incarcerated since 2006 and was also subjected to 99 lashes.

The Bloc Québécois is joining its voice to that of the international community to ask that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani not be executed, by stoning or any other method, and that the authorities conduct a full, impartial and independent review of her case. We are urging Iran to respect its international human rights obligations.

PeacekeepersStatements By Members

November 4th, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, since as far back as the late 1940s, Canada has played a major peacekeeping role around the world. Canadians from all regions of our country have participated in peacekeeping efforts. The armed forces, Canadian diplomats, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police forces, and even civilians have all done their part to support Canada's work at home and abroad.

In 2008, August 9 was declared National Peacekeepers' Day. Every year on that day, past and present, Canadian peacekeepers are honoured through events and activities held across this great country. However, our recognition of their service does not stop there.

We as a nation owe these men and women an everlasting debt of gratitude. The significant contributions made by our peacekeepers have helped shape Canada's identity.

This year during Veterans Week I ask all Canadians to recognize the sacrifices and successes of our peacekeepers, veterans, members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP with whom this important tradition of service continues.

Regional DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the House, where we are called to honour the best qualities of our humanity, I was deeply shocked by the comments of the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup during question period on November 2. He stated that the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition had announced that he would centralize Canadian regional development agencies. There is nothing further from the truth. In order to set things straight, I will quote what the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore said:

I believe we must reassess CED. Regional economic development will be a major priority for a new Liberal government. [The Prime Minister] is not a fan of regional economic development. I believe in it. We have to revise priorities, make this agency important again, decentralize it...with the means to intervene and make decisions in the regions.

It is the duty of elected members of this House to respect truth and facts, even when they are contrary to the partisan ideology of those who oppose us. I urge my colleagues to respect the House.

Criminal CodeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is introducing a bill today and making a commitment to prevent sexual offences against children and ensure that adult sexual predators receive sentences that reflect the brutality of their crimes. The sexual exploitation of children is a very serious offence, and our government is committed to implementing tough measures to stop it.

The bill would amend the Criminal Code to increase mandatory prison sentences for those who commit sexual offences against children and young people. The bill would enhance protection for vulnerable children and young people from adult sexual predators.

Our government is unwavering in its commitment to protect our children. I urge the opposition parties to show the same determination.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am truly privileged to honour the men and women who show and have shown their love and commitment to our country through their service in the Canadian Forces.

When our country was in danger during World War I and World War II, or when our country called upon them to go to Korea and now Afghanistan, or to be peacekeepers in places far from home, such as Somalia, Bosnia, Lebanon, East Timor and Suez, they did not hesitate. They went because their country asked them to and they went with dignity because of their loyalty and sense of duty to our nation.

Many came home and continue to come home with terrible injuries that scar the body and the soul, and, tragically, some never came home to their families.

Canada and Canadians promised these many men and women that they would be honoured and remembered by a grateful nation. And so today, we remember their sacrifice, courage and service because we must never break faith with them.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Freedom of ReligionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government strongly condemns the threatening statements by al-Qaeda that all Christians are to be considered legitimate targets.

These outrageous claims come only days after Catholic worshippers were attacked in church during Sunday mass. Fifty-eight were killed and more than 60 others were wounded. This was a vicious and shameful act. The deepest sympathies of all Canadians are with the families of those murdered on Sunday.

All violence against innocent civilians is deplorable. Our government condemns these acts in the strongest terms.

Terrorism and al-Qaeda's promotion of hatred and division in Iraq cannot be allowed to deter Iraqi efforts toward a peaceful and united democratic state. We stand firmly with the people and government of Iraq against these shameful acts of terrorism.

Témiscamingue Green MarchStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, Témiscamingue is a big part of my riding. Its primary economic activities revolve around forestry and agriculture. It goes without saying that the people of Témiscamingue have been hit hard by the economic crisis. For the past few years, socio-economic organizations in the sector have been working to implement economic recovery projects, but without government support these projects have not succeeded.

People who want to make themselves heard and who want a better future for Témiscamingue will be participating in a huge demonstration, the green march through the streets of Ville-Marie on Monday, November 8, between 10 a.m. and noon. I will be participating in the march, which is being held to demonstrate that the people of Témiscamingue are fighting together in solidarity for their region's survival.

When will the Conservative government start listening to the regions of Quebec?

John FinlayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, former Liberal MP, the late John Finlay, will be laid to rest. John Finlay passed away last month after a courageous battle with Parkinson's disease.

John will always be remembered as a man of the highest integrity, as someone who was passionate about serving his country and his constituents in the riding of Oxford, and, in particular, passionate about education.

As the former superintendent with the Oxford Board of Education, John was renowned for his kindness, his compassion and his deep respect for the tenets of public education and those who delivered it.

When John became a member of Parliament in 1993, he was the first Liberal elected in Oxford in 44 years. He became a strong advocate for our first nations peoples as a member of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development for five consecutive years, and as parliamentary secretary to the minister of Indian affairs and northern development from 2000 to 2003. John was a strong voice for the people of Oxford, so much so that they re-elected him two more consecutive times before he retired in 2004.

He will be remembered as an integral part of our parliamentary family. I am certain that all members of this House join with me in extending our condolences to John's family and friends.

Korean War VeteransStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, 60 years ago, the United Nations came to the aid of South Korea when advancing North Korean forces reached the capital of Seoul. I am proud to say that when South Korea needed us, Canada did not hesitate to support that United Nations force.

This week, as we mark Veterans' Week, we are reminded of the brave Canadians who left home to defend the values of freedom and democracy for others. Our troops fought in a severe climate and through unknown and rugged terrain. On July 27, 1953, after three long years, an armistice was signed at Panmunjom to bring an end to the fighting in Korea.

On Saturday, November 14, I will have the honour to attend a ceremony at the United Nations cemetery in Pusan, a place I used to live, where many of the 516 brave Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving with the United Nations forces are buried.

This week I urge all Canadians to proudly honour our brave Korean War veterans. Lest we forget.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, when asked about the sale of PotashCorp, the Prime Minister said that he did not care whether it was under American or Australian control. That meant that he was in favour of the sale of PotashCorp. Yesterday the government did an about-face and said no, but it said we have to wait another 30 days to see if the buyer comes up with a better offer.

Will the Prime Minister put an end to all this flip-flopping and incompetence and clearly tell the House today that the answer is, and will always be, no?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said, there is a process in place, set out by law. The government followed that process. The minister listened to the apprehensions and concerns of all Canadians and then made a decision. I commend that decision, and I am sure that all the members of this government congratulate the minister on a decision made in the best interests of the Canadian economy.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the question is this: which decision? A final decision or a decision that could be reversed in 30 days? That is the question.

The interesting thing here is that the Prime Minister has gone 180° on this issue. First he said that he did not care about the foreign control of this asset and then yesterday the government took a different position.

The Prime Minister likes to entertain us with his talk of high principle. How does he explain his own personal flip-flop on this issue?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let me explain the process to the Leader of the Opposition.

The minister has rendered a decision and, under the law, the company has 30 days to make further representations to the minister. The obligation of the minister and the government has been to listen to all of the facts and to all points of view from Canadians.

As I said earlier, I congratulate, and I know all members of the government want to congratulate, the Minister of Industry on taking a decision that is clearly in the best interests of the Canadian economy.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is still a flip-flop, and we still do not know why the government made its decision or even whether the decision is final. This suggests that we need a foreign investment review process that is more transparent and more accountable and with better consultation with the provinces.

Will the Prime Minister learn from his mistakes on this deal and reform the institutional review process for foreign investment?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the process is determined by legislation. Of course the government and Parliament can review that legislation and may want to do so at some point in the future.

However, no one should doubt this government's policy. The policy of this government is that, generally speaking, foreign investment is in the interests of the Canadian economy and an open global trading economy.

At the same time, we do have laws that require major investments to be reviewed to ensure they are in the best interests of this country and, when they are not in the best interests of this country, this government will not hesitate to block a transaction.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the person responsible for military procurement did not request any information in order to compare the F-35s to other planes.

Without any hard evidence, in 2006 he sent a secret memo saying that the F-35 was the only option for replacing the CF-18s.

This is the largest military procurement in the history of Canada. Why did the Prime Minister not take the time to consider what the competition had to offer?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member knows there was a process because he was part of the process.

Jacques Saada, a former Liberal member of Parliament now working in the aerospace industry, said that the process led to nine partners to opt for the F-35. He went on to say that although there was no call for bids, there was a very serious selection process.

The current ADM materiel for the department states:

We did consider the Eurofighter. We did consider Super Hornets...and several other aircraft. We worked with our international allies and so on to identify costs of ownership.

There was a process and the member knows it. He is making it up.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister's process looks more like a summer student search on Wikipedia.

The Conservatives did not even ask the American or European governments for classified information on other fighter jets. It is becoming obvious that the government blindly chose the F-35 and considered in substance nothing else.

Our military deserves better and Canadian taxpayers deserve better than the handing over of a blank cheque. Why are the minister and the Prime Minister so irresponsible with taxpayer money?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I suggest the hon. member go online and find a position that he can stick to. He used to be in favour of this process. In fact, these arguments are getting as old and as worn as the Sea Kings that the Liberal Party refused to replace for 13 long years.

This investment is good for the air force. It is good for the aerospace industry. It is a process that the member was a part of when he was in government. The Liberals should support Canadian jobs, especially those in the Montreal area.

When will we hear from Montreal MPs? When will they set their leader straight, that this is a good thing for our country?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the Conseil du trésor du Québec, Michelle Courchesne, said that she has sent all the necessary information to the federal Minister of Transport so that he can make a quick decision on extending the deadline for infrastructure projects.

Will the government listen to reason and extend the March 31, 2011, deadline, which is threatening 353 projects worth $210 million? These numbers are not insignificant. They come from Quebec City.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I had a good meeting with Ms. Courchesne. In fact, she gave me that information two days ago.

As promised, now we have the information in hand. We had a very good meeting with Madame Courchesne and Monsieur Lessard. As usual, we have an excellent relationship with the Government of Quebec. Now that we have the data, we can go through it and work together to get a fair and reasonable way of dealing with the issues that she has raised with us.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only has Quebec sent all the necessary information for the government to make a quick decision—not in three weeks, we have been talking about this for months—but it has specifically proposed extending the deadline from March 30, 2011, to December 31, 2011. That is a specific proposal, and it would help save 353 projects worth $210 million.

Will the government agree to Quebec's request to extend the deadline to December 31, 2011?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have been talking about it for months, but I just received the information two days ago. That is why it is important that we go through this information. That is exactly what I asked for.

The Government of Quebec is working with us on that, which is excellent news. However, there are other questions we wonder about. We have been working on this for months. We have put hundreds of millions of dollars into Quebec. Why has the Bloc Québécois been opposed to every budgetary motion that we have brought forward? I do not understand. Why do those member not stand up for Quebec? Why do they not help us deliver the goods for Quebec?