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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime ActGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Order, please. The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin will have five minutes to finish his speech when the House resumes consideration of this bill.

We will now proceed with statements by members. The hon. member for Kitchener Centre.

Parliamentary DebateStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians debate passionately. We debate along cultural lines, religious lines and social lines. A wise man knows passionate debates need to be resolved.

Who is responsible for finding resolution? It is the members of this Parliament who should be reconciling Canadians and who should be listening to one another.

Canadians are debating noble issues. They are debating about issues of fundamental human rights. Does every human being deserve the protection of fundamental human rights? Is a child only a human being when fully born as our law says, or is a child a human being before that?

When rights conflict, how do we balance them?

These are noble questions. My belief is that they deserve noble answers and a respectful dialogue among parliamentarians daring to reconcile, not divide, Canadians.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government must establish stronger measures to protect Canadians against people who use a fraudulent marriage as a safe immigration passport to our country.

I have repeatedly asked the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to take action in cases when fraud was perpetrated against the Canadian immigration system, including the ones affecting many victims in my constituency.

To prevent future cases in which marriages with Canadian citizens are entered into for the purposes of obtaining permanent residence status, I call upon the government to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to strengthen the conditional immigration marriage-based system.

Furthermore, the government should establish a period of three to five years of probation for marriage-based immigrants, including a requirement that couples have been living together and intend to continue living together in the future.

Moreover, the government should restrict the finalization of each citizenship application until the probation period is complete and there has been no criminal activity or offences under the immigration act.

I strongly urge the government to take concrete action to stop marriage fraud and protect its victims.

Soprema and Teknika HBAStatements By Members

November 5th, 2010 / 11 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, Soprema recently won first prize in the category of companies with 200 to 499 employees in Quebec's Défi Meilleurs Employeurs.

The Défi Meilleurs Employeurs encourages Quebec companies to become better employers by measuring their employees’ productive engagement. It recognizes companies that provide a healthy and stimulating work environment.

Soprema had its employees fill out a survey containing questions on several aspects of the company. According to managers, this award shows that the approximately 275 employees enjoy the work environment at Soprema, which has two factories in my riding in Quebec.

The first prize in the category of companies with more than 500 employees was won for the third time by Teknika HBA, a large engineering consulting firm that also has a branch in Drummondville.

Congratulations to both of these companies, which are now among the best employers in Quebec.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I personally wish to congratulate Mr. Andrew Cohen and the Historica-Dominion Institute for keeping the memory and history of all of Canada alive.

Recently, 34,000 Canadians signed an online petition asking that all Canadians, especially parliamentarians on this side of the House and in the Senate, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month observe two minutes of silence. As Terry Kelly once said, two minutes is “a pittance of time” to reflect, remember and show respect for the 118,000 that have gone before, as well as those who are currently serving and those who will serve in the future.

A tip of the salt and pepper cap to that great organization, the Historica-Dominion Institute, for the great job it does for all Canadians and all of Canada.

Cornwall Community Police ServiceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 28, I had the pleasure of joining Chief of Police Dan Parkinson and Georges Levere, President of the Cornwall Police Association, for a retirement and recognition evening of the Cornwall Community Police Service.

Retirees Christopher Burley, Lucien Brunet, Scott Hanton, Rick Carter, Pierre Lalonde and Dianne Connors were honoured for their many years of service with the Cornwall Community Police Service.

Sergeant Wayne Holland and Staff Sergeant Gary Derochie received exemplary service bars for 40 years of dedicated service to the community of Cornwall.

Elaine Moquin was honoured with the Cornwall Police Association Award.

Shawn White, Derek Duchesne, Ryan Campeau and Stephen Whitehorne were presented with awards of excellence for investigation.

These brave men and women along with 40 others received awards for the great service they provide to the residents of Cornwall.

On behalf of the residents of Cornwall, I wish to extend my appreciation to these individuals and police officers throughout Canada for making our communities safer and better places in which to live.

Five Days in NovemberStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to a very special book launch in my riding. Entitled Five Days in November, this book by Robert Catsburg recounts a battle fought by Canadian soldiers in 1944 to liberate Welberg, a small town in the Netherlands.

Originally written in Dutch, the book has recently been translated into English by Ineke Hardy, thanks to the determination of Sandy O'Grady, a constituent whose father Major Keith Stirling fought and was captured in Holland during the war.

This book is more than simply an account of military history. It is a tale of Canadians fighting for the liberty of a faraway country and of civilians caught in the middle of a ferocious battle. With Remembrance Day fast approaching, Five Days in November is a fitting tribute to thousands of Canadian armed forces personnel who have sacrificed their lives serving our country.

On behalf of all hon. members, I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the publication of this very worthwhile book.

National Railway DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, author Pierre Berton always said the most pivotal day in Canadian history after July 1, 1867, was November 7, 1885. That is when the last spike was driven into the transcontinental main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Craigellachie, B.C., completing the world's first transcontinental railway under one management.

The importance of that date in the building of the Canadian nation has never been more eloquently summarized as on the plaque that marks the spot where the last spike was driven:

A nebulous dream was a reality; an iron ribbon crossed Canada from sea to sea. Often following the footsteps of early explorers, nearly 3,000 miles of steel rail pushed across vast prairies, cleft lofty mountain passes, twisted through canyons and bridged a thousand streams. Here on November 7, 1885, a plain iron spike welded East to West.

This Sunday marks the 125th anniversary of the last spike and I am proud the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages will recognize November 7 as National Railway Day. One hundred and twenty-five years ago an impossible dream became a reality, and a nation flourished and grew because it did.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, 20 months ago, I moved a motion to reinstate funding for the PromArt and Trade Routes international touring programs. My colleague from Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert and I met with artists from all over Quebec who told us that these cuts would take a tremendous toll on culture and the economy.

Two years later, a study by the International Exchange for the Performing Arts has confirmed their fears. The elimination of these programs resulted in the cancellation of over 175 tours and the loss of $15.8 million in revenues. The cuts hit particularly hard in Quebec, where organizations received the largest portion of the funding that was eliminated. Every dollar cut resulted in the loss of about $6.30 in revenue.

The Conservative government is hurting Quebec's cultural industry. The government must act on Motion M-297, which was adopted on June 17, 2009, and invest once again in raising the international profile of Quebec and Canadian culture. That is what the Canadian Arts Coalition asked for yesterday on the Hill. The coalition also wants the government to increase the Canada Council's budget to $300 million.

DiwaliStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is Diwali, also known as Deepawali. It is also known as the Festival of Lights celebrated by all Hindus, Sikhs and others around the world.

On this day, people light their homes to symbolize the dawning of light over darkness. They mark Diwali with religious blessings, or pooja, and celebrate in a festive mood with the exchange of sweets. It is the dawn of a new year.

I am proud to say that, in 1998, I spearheaded the celebration of Diwali on Parliament Hill, which has today blossomed into a national Diwali celebration. Over the years since then, Canadians have joined prime ministers and members of Parliament, including you, Mr. Speaker, to celebrate this event on Parliament Hill.

This year, the 10th national Diwali celebration will be held on November 16 at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa, starting at 6:30 p.m. I cordially extend an invitation to all my colleagues to join community members from Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal to celebrate Diwali.

Happy Diwali to all my colleagues.

City of MonctonStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, on October 16, 2010, 600 people gathered in Moncton for a march for linguistic equality. Bilingualism in Moncton is an important issue for all Acadians, for whom Moncton serves as a vital urban centre that brings people together.

Congratulations to George LeBlanc, the mayor, and to Jean-Marie Nadeau and Marc Chouinard for inspiring the people of Moncton to mobilize for bilingualism. Moncton has the good fortune of being able to rely on two dynamic linguistic communities that both contribute to the growth and vitality of the region. We must support the development of these communities.

I am very proud that the people of Moncton decided to mobilize in support of their own development. While Moncton continues to make progress, the government has eliminated the census and continues to ignore minority communities and the principles on which this country was founded.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to data released by Statistics Canada this morning, there was job growth in October. The unemployment rate is now at 7.9%.

Nearly 50,000 full-time jobs were created last month, which again shows that Canada's economic action plan is keeping us on course.

Nonetheless, global economic recovery remains fragile. That is why groups like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are cautioning that the Liberals' plan to increase taxes is a disastrous idea that would stifle job creation and would not be the right way to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Quebeckers and Canadians can count on our government to continue implementing our economic action plan.

Child CareStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, child care is essential in supporting families and shaping a healthy childhood. I want to congratulate the Halifax YWCA, which announced it will be opening a licensed non-profit child care in Spryfield. Until it is built, there remains no licensed child care in this area, an area with one of the highest proportions of single parents in all of Canada.

This project is a result of true community spirit and action. While it will not open until 2012, there is already a waiting list. The demand is evident in every part of Canada, and the NDP has a solution to ensure fairness for all families.

Our plan includes passing the NDP's national child care act and establishing a network of high-quality, licensed, not-for-profit child care spaces in every community in Canada.

We know that the early years of life are the most crucial in a child's development, and many families need help providing this, especially in tough economic times.

We must make universal child care a priority and a reality. The time to act is now.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year Remembrance Day gives us the opportunity to commemorate those who gave their lives in armed conflicts in the name of justice, freedom and peace.

The Bloc Québécois would like to commemorate in particular the members of the Régiment Royal Canadien-Français, the 22nd (French Canadian) Battalion, forerunner to the Royal 22e Régiment, which was established during the first world war and is still the only francophone regiment. Its members not only had to fight the enemy but they also had to work for recognition and respect from the other battalions. It earned 18 battle honours and roughly 4,000 to 6,000 members were injured or died at the front.

We should also have a very special thought for the soldiers who have fought and continue to fight in other conflicts, particularly all those presently deployed in Afghanistan.

MulticulturalismStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the member for Northumberland—Quinte West asked a loaded and biased question regarding my support for Imam Zijad Delic, executive director of the Canadian Islamic Congress, in an attempt to mislead the House and to divide Canadians.

Statements made six years ago by a former president of the CIC were deplorable and utterly unacceptable. They have been completely disavowed by Dr. Delic. Under his leadership, the CIC is dedicated to building bridges between Muslims and other Canadians.

The Conservatives are attempting to depict me as someone who supports hatred, terrorism and anti-Semitism. I find this reprehensible and obviously untrue.

For 25 years I have worked with Jewish Canadians in the eradication of anti-Semitism, the promotion of Israel and interfaith co-operation.

More recently, I have brought a similar energy to the integration of Muslims into Canadian society. I relish my relationships with people in both communities and hope that I may play a small role in bringing these two worlds closer together.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is the start of Veterans' Week. As we remember those who have travelled far and wide to fight for Canadian values, we also honour those who have protected those same values on Canadian soil.

Canadian Forces members continuously put their country first, and their record is exemplary. They sustain our national security by keeping watch against terrorist attacks and guarding international borders to maintain domestic stability.

They save lives during search and rescue missions in the raging seas off our coasts and everywhere in between. Their dedication and training are invaluable when natural disasters strike, at home and abroad.

Just recently, more than 1,000 Canadian Forces members rebuilt roads, bridges and communities in Newfoundland and Labrador after the devastation of Hurricane Igor.

Our Canadian Forces members do this to uphold our long-standing commitment to peace and freedom, one of Canada's defining qualities in the eyes of the world.

This Veterans' Week, we honour their legacy. This Veterans' Week, we remember and we thank them.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week Canadians across the country will mark Veterans' Week. As we remember our Canadian veterans, people like my grandpa, we also honour the members of the Canadian Forces who proudly wear the maple leaf on their uniform today.

Let us join Canadians from coast to coast to coast who support our men and women of the Canadian Forces. There are many places in the world that do not enjoy the peace and security we are accustomed to here in Canada. We honour those who selflessly face danger to bring peace and security to troubled areas such as Afghanistan. These men and women courageously put their lives on the line to protect the freedom and rights of others in need.

When the world calls, Canada answers. It is our proud tradition and it is a tradition that our service men and women continue to uphold.

This Veterans' Week we honour their legacy. This Veterans' Week, we remember.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government's wasteful incompetence was on glaring display again yesterday in the growing fiasco around Canada's eviction from Camp Mirage and in new testimony about the bungled Conservative deal for stealth fighter jets.

Getting kicked out of Camp Mirage was sheer stupidity. We have had that staging facility from the United Arab Emirates free of charge for nine years, but now we get the boot because these Conservatives could not manage commercial airline landing rights.

How can they justify that complete and utter waste of $300 million?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it should not come as any surprise to the member for Wascana, or indeed any member of the House, that the government does not normally talk about operational matters involving the deployment of Canadian Forces abroad.

The government always makes decisions and makes arrangements for what is in the best interests of Canada and what is the best value for the taxpayer.

What the United Arab Emirates was offering was not of net benefit to Canada, and this government always stands up for Canada.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, criticizing the government for bungling and waste is not an attack on Canada, it is a defence of Canada.

This country deserves better than these Keystone Kops: $300 million for a complete screw-up, and the burden is now downloaded onto the Canadian Forces, scrambling to move from Camp Mirage to who knows where; longer flights, bigger fuel bills and paying rent for an airfield that we used to get for free. That is $300 million just flushed down the toilet.

How do the Conservatives explain that to the veterans who will be demonstrating tomorrow because they cannot get a decent pension? What do the Conservatives say to them?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government has a strong track record when it comes to supporting Canada's veterans and supporting the men and women in uniform today with the huge investments that we have made to support the Canadian Forces.

I have a question, though. Why is it that every time Canada gets into a disagreement with another country, and in this case, we have a difference of opinion and a disagreement with the United Arab Emirates, the Liberal Party always lines up against Canadian interests?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister should not confuse Conservative interests with Canadian interests. They are not the same thing.

The government is also not telling the truth about fighter jets. Both Boeing and Dassault of France testified yesterday that they do, in fact, have aircraft equal to or better than the F-35s, at a lower price, with full regional industrial benefits and technology transfer.

So the government's non-competitive, sole-sourced rationale is shot full of holes.

Why did these Conservative bunglers not even bother to ask Boeing or Dassault?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it was started by the previous government. The previous Liberal government spent $170 million designing and developing this new aircraft. That is why we are continuing this process. The Liberals had a transparent, open competition and Lockheed Martin won.

And it not just Canada; it is 10 of our closest allies that are acquiring this first-rate aircraft, because the men and women of the Canadian armed forces need the equipment required to fulfill the responsibilities that the Canadian people demand of them each and every day.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, they spent $300 million because the Conservatives ministers were not able agree among themselves; they spent $300 million because the Prime Minister woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning and decided to take competent ministers off the file.

The Prime Minister spent $300 million of public money just like that because he wanted to prove that he was right.

Who on the other side of the House thinks that wasting $300 million on the Prime Minister's whim was a good investment of tax payers' money? Stand up.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, while we do not comment on operational matters, the Government of Canada will always act in the best interests of Canada and Canadians.

The closure of Camp Mirage does not impact our mission in Afghanistan. We continue to support that mission through arrangements in Cyprus and Germany. None of these basing or logistical challenges change the fact that the Canadian Forces will continue to progress on the military mission right up until July 2011 and will redeploy from Kandahar in accordance with the 2008 parliamentary motion.