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 #115 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Human RightsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate International Human Rights Day.

Human rights are at the very heart of this government's policies whether it is at home or abroad. Our policies have always been based on the principles and values of a free and democratic society. However, Canadians must be mindful that the rights we enjoy are not shared by all around the world.

On this occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to honour those who have stood up and defended human rights. In particular, I congratulate Mr. Liu Xiaobo on winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

We also commend individuals like Nguyen Van Dai, Gao Zhisheng, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Ko Mya Aye and countless others around the world who have raised awareness about the struggle for the promotion of human rights.

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

Harry DenisonStatements By Members

December 10th, 2010 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a man I am proud to have called my friend, Flight Sergeant Harry Denison.

Harry was an amazing human being who lived a remarkable life. In 1944, at age 17, Harry joined the RCAF and became a mid-gunner in a Halifax bomber. In March 1945, his plane was shot down during a night raid over occupied Europe. Harry fell 22,000 feet without a parachute and survived, earning him the nickname “No Chute”. After the war, Harry returned home and in 1947, he and his brother John bought an old army truck and together they became two of the original ice road truckers in the Northwest Territories.

Whether it was at the Legion, the 406 Wing or downtown North Bay, Harry always had a smile on his face and a joke to brighten up someone's day.

Harry passed away on Sunday at the age 85. On behalf of all members of Parliament, I would like to thank Harry for leaving a lasting impression on all those who knew him. We will miss him.

Livestock IndustryStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, after years of neglect by the Liberals, Canadian livestock producers are finally getting the respect and support they deserve from their federal government.

On Monday our agriculture minister pledged up to $3 million to help Canadian meat producers move their products across provincial borders. On Tuesday it was announced that Canadian beef exports to Russia will double this year thanks to the minister's efforts to increase access to this important market.

I was pleased to make an announcement recently that will support livestock producers in Saskatchewan and create more than 200 jobs in the Palliser riding. Thanks to an investment of more than $1.7 million by this Conservative government, Donald's Fine Foods will reopen the Moose Jaw processing plant as Thunder Creek Pork, after being closed for the past four years.

I would like to commend the agriculture minister for his hard work in supporting Canadian livestock producers. I ask my colleagues to join me in welcoming Donald's Fine Foods to the community of Moose Jaw.

Simon PaquinStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a young man from my riding whose commitment to volunteer work is exemplary. Simon Paquin spends his time and energy fighting against cancer, poverty and childhood diseases.

Add to that his position as volunteer host of public affairs programs on Les Moulins' regional television station, where Mr. Paquin is also an anchor.

His volunteer work and the fact that he uses new information technology earned Simon Paquin the young volunteer—Claude-Masson award in communications, which is presented annually by the Government of Quebec.

Simon Paquin demonstrates the spirit, compassion and altruism of Quebec's youth. With people like him waiting in the wings, we can rest assured that Quebec's future is in good hands.

I would like to sincerely thank Simon Paquin for his commitment, and I want to assure him that the Bloc Québécois recognizes his efforts in carrying on Quebec's tradition of humanitarianism.

Gender ViolenceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence end with International Human Rights Day.

Gender violence is a violation of women's human rights that creates significant barriers to their freedom and full participation in society. It is every citizen's responsibility to work toward eliminating it. Individual men's and women's organizations are now joining that effort in ever increasing numbers.

Michelle Bachelet, executive director of the newly established United Nations women's agency, noted recently that over 100 countries have no specific laws against domestic violence.

In Canada we have a strong legal foundation for gender equality and a solid status of women government machinery in place. Nevertheless, violence against women and girls persists and new challenges face us every day. Canadians, however, share in and support our government's commitment to ending the violence through funding programs, education and activism.

Today and every day let us re-dedicate--

Gender ViolenceStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Beaches--East York.

Human RightsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, exactly 62 years ago, humanity took a considerable step forward when it adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since then, Human Rights Day is the occasion for people of all races to reflect on the way they treat one another, a day to reflect on how governments treat individuals.

At the same time, never has our country seen so many attacks on human rights on the part of its politicians. Never has a national party so systematically attacked human rights for petty political gain as today. The attacks on the charter, the attacks on women, immigrants and refugees that we have seen from the Conservative government are unworthy of Canada's heritage.

The Prime Minister should take advantage of the opportunity provided by this international Human Rights Day to examine his conscience and reconsider his many authoritarian and undemocratic decisions.

JusticeStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is committed to making our streets and communities safer.

This week, after nearly a year, our government was successful in passing important legislation to strengthen the national sex offender registry and the national DNA data bank which will provide greater protection for children and all Canadians.

Currently our Conservative government has over 20 other bills before Parliament to get tougher on crime and to make our streets and communities safer, but here is the problem. Due to the lack of support from the coalition of the Liberals, the hug-a-thug NDP and the Bloc Québécois, these bills have not passed.

The coalition continues to stall legislation to eliminate pardons for dangerous offenders, to repeal the faint hope clause and to end house arrest for serious crimes.

The Ignatieff-led coalition should support our efforts, need I say again, to get tough on crime--

JusticeStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I remind hon. members that it is out of order to use members' names in the House. I am sure the member will bear that in mind. The hon. member for Halifax.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the recently released environment commissioner's report painfully details the government's unwillingness to address the future effects of climate change, a fact that is evident with Canada's poor showing on the global stage in Cancun.

There are people and companies across Canada working on innovative green technologies, yet the government has not taken the steps necessary to prepare our environment and our economy. In fact, it has spent only 3% of the $200 million green innovation fund which reflects the government's lack of commitment to protecting Canadians.

The absence of a strategy could have a devastating impact on fisheries and coastlines in Nova Scotia, as well as every aspect of Canadian life. Our government is letting the environment commissioner's report go foolishly and stubbornly unheeded, but it needs to know that my constituents and Canadians across the country want Canada to take a leadership role on climate change.

The time for action is now if we want to protect the planet for the next generation. I hope that the Conservatives are listening.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the end of 16 days of action to end violence against women as we celebrate international Human Rights Day.

Gender-based violence is a breach of women's fundamental rights and constitutes a major impediment to their freedom and participation in society. More and more men and men's groups are helping to unsilence violence.

UN Women recently noted that over 100 countries do not have legislation against family violence. In Canada, the principle of gender equality has a solid legal foundation, and we have government mechanisms to support women. Nevertheless, there are still cases of violence against women and girls, and we face new challenges every day.

Our government is committed to ending violence against women and girls. Today and every day, we must work to end all forms of gender-based violence and ensure respect for all women.

Roger FournierStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise here today to thank Roger Fournier, who keeps Bloc Québécois members well informed, through his curiosity and interest in many social issues.

Every week, Mr. Fournier prepares a detailed press review and provides my office with documentation—such as articles found in newspapers or on the Internet—that have to do with the status of women. He does the same for the Bloc Québécois environment critic and fisheries critic, among others.

Mr. Fournier, a retired employee of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, became a sovereignist largely because of the blatant lack of respect shown to Quebeckers within the public service in Ottawa. He is a member of the Bloc Québécois riding association executive in Brossard—La Prairie.

Mr. Fournier, on behalf of the members of the Bloc Québécois, I wish to express our appreciation for the work you do and thank you for supporting our daily efforts to become a sovereign country.

Visually Impaired People in the OutaouaisStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, 25 years ago, Marihel Mermier, Monique Beaudoin and Alan Conway launched the Association des personnes handicapées visuelles de l'Outaouais to promote and defend the rights of people with visual impairments, and to raise awareness among the public and decision makers about the difficulties visually impaired people face every day.

Today we have services that help visually impaired people attain greater independence and safer mobility thanks to the amazing work over the past 25 years of the founders, directors, members and generous volunteers of this association.

On this 25th anniversary of the founding of the Association des personnes handicapées visuelles de l'Outaouais, I would like to congratulate and thank the founders, directors, members past and present and the generous volunteers for their impressive dedication to the well-being of visually impaired people in the Outaouais.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal environment critic seems to be a part-time critic or, as he styles himself, a shadow minister. His leader has taught him a thing or two about that.

After Canadian taxpayers paid his way to attend the UN climate change conference, he was supposed to spend the week there working. However, that was not good enough for the Liberal critic. In fact, he bailed from the conference two days early, not even bothering to wait for Canada's national statement to be delivered before heading to the airport.

While our Conservative government is getting the job done and showing leadership as a clean energy superpower, the Liberals are supporting a position that would cost Canadian jobs and not protect the environment.

Conservative, NDP and Bloc MPs are still at work at the conference, so why is the Liberal environment critic not? Is it because Liberals are not in it for Canadians and are just in it for themselves?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the government about the democracy deficit syndrome from which it still continues to suffer.

I wonder if the Minister of Foreign Affairs could tell us how the government could be contemplating signing an agreement with the United States that will impact immigration, will impact refugees, will impact intelligence, will impact security, will impact trade. In fact, it will impact all of our relationships with the United States.

Why would the government contemplate doing that without first of all discussing it with the House of Commons right here in Canada?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yesterday my colleague, the Minister of Public Safety, had the opportunity of responding to that question. He quite clearly indicated that we obviously do not comment on hearsay and speculation.

In terms of keeping our borders open for business and closed for security and terrorist threats, it is a joint priority of both our government and the Obama administration.

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem is the lack of respect for democracy in Canada and the lack of respect for the work of the House of Commons. That is the issue before us today.

Clearly, the government is contemplating a comprehensive agreement with the United States that will affect our sovereignty, immigration, refugee system and security intelligence.

How can the government do this without once consulting the House of Commons? How is this possible?

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is getting carried away again. He is ranting about mere rumours and speculation. I would like to reassure him that our government's objective is to keep our borders open for business and closed for security and terrorist threats. This is the objective of both our government and President Obama's administration.

HaitiOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are very concerned about the situation in Haiti at present: cholera, 1.5 million homeless people, problems disbursing funds, people's fragile faith in MINUSTAH, and now, electoral fraud.

There is a Haitian proverb that says, Asire ou ke se limen bouji yo anvan etenn a Alimèt, which in English means “Make sure the candle is lit before putting out the match”.

What will Canada do to ensure that the results of the presidential election truly reflect the will of the people? By the way, when will our embassy in Port-au-Prince reopen?

HaitiOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to acknowledge and thank the hon. member from Bourassa for his excellent work on this matter.

This morning, I asked President Préval and Prime Minister Bellerive to make every possible effort to restore order in Haiti. After our discussions, I am very hopeful that the ballot recount will be carried out in an orderly, transparent and legitimate manner and will put an end to the population's concerns. I also offered Canada's help in this operation.

Although order seems to have been restored at this time, because of the volatility of the situation we continue to recommend to Canadians—

HaitiOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Don Valley East.

Tobacco ProductsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, big tobacco lobbyists are freely roaming the halls of power, having undue influence over the Conservative government. After spending millions of dollars on the new and more effective warning labels for cigarettes, well-connected lobbyists like Perrin Beatty, a Mulroney cabinet minister, are convincing the Conservatives to scrap the labels.

Exactly when did big tobacco start determining public health policy in Canada?

Tobacco ProductsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to standing up to big tobacco and curbing smoking, we have no lessons to take from the Liberals.

The news stories are simply wrong. Additional health warning labels are still under review, which I stated many times, and an announcement will be made soon. Our government is committed to preventing young people from starting smoking and helping Canadians quit smoking and addressing the pressing issue on contraband tobacco.

Tobacco ProductsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister can get big tobacco to work for her.

Regarding the new warnings on cigarette packaging, why did the minister tell her provincial counterparts that changes were off the table? Why did she lead the tobacco industry to believe that changes were off the table when now she is saying that changes are imminent?

Will the minister stop playing cheap political games with the health of Canadians and come clean with what her intentions are?

Tobacco ProductsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have passed on the information to my provincial and territorial colleagues that I was continuing to review the labels. I have never said to the provincial and territorial governments that it was off the table. That work is in progress and we are continuing to do that. We are also taking action on many fronts. For example, the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, which recently came into force, will make it even harder for industry to entice young people to use tobacco products.

Let me speak about our record. We have passed the cracking down on tobacco act. We have also invested $15 million--