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House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offence.

Topics

Protecting Children from Sexual Predators ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that this government has recently appointed a new victims' ombudsman, Ms. Susan O'Sullivan, who is a lifelong career police officer. She has an incredible amount of experience in law enforcement and brings all of that experience to bear in advocating on behalf of victims to make sure that victims' interests are taken care of by our justice system.

The member will also know that our government has spent more than any other government on victims' services. As well, it has increased the victims' services budget this year.

We encourage all police officers, current prosecutors and law enforcement officials to bring these services to the attention of all victims. Of course, victims are the number one priority of this government.

Protecting Children from Sexual Predators ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the criminal injuries compensation fund idea that was started in Manitoba some 40 years ago is something that his government should look at. It has certainly fulfilled a very valuable function in my home province.

If the government is as concerned as it says it is, and we believe it is, with the plight of victims in society, then it should not only talk about it, but actually do something about it. Certainly the experience with the previous holder of the office was that he was not happy with the lack of commitment to victims.

Protecting Children from Sexual Predators ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the government is in close consultation with the victims' ombudsman to enhance all services to victims. We will take his suggestions and consider them in all seriousness.

Protecting Children from Sexual Predators ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That concludes the time for debate at this stage. I am going to move now to statements by members since it is almost 11 o'clock.

Gow's Home HardwareStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the achievement of Peter Gow and Gow's Home Hardware in my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's.

Gow's Home Hardware serves Bridgewater and the surrounding community and has a long history that can be traced back to a hardware store originally started by Robert Dawson in 1848.

For the second time, Gow's Home Hardware has been given the singular honour of being recognized as the country's most outstanding hardware store.

Peter Gow, the third-generation owner of Gow's Home Hardware, was awarded Hardware Merchandising magazine's Store of the Year Award.

Gow's Home Hardware is active in its community and always there to assist and co-operate. Congratulations to Peter Gow and his team at Gow's Home Hardware. His hard work, service and accomplishments are recognized by his community and his peers.

International Day of Persons with DisabilitiesStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, each year on December 3, we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on equal enjoyment of human rights, as well as ensuring integration into all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The recent report by the HRSDC committee on the federal contribution to reducing poverty contains excellent recommendations to improve the lives of those living with disabilities, and I encourage the government to implement those recommendations.

The Liberal Party is a proud supporter of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We believe that together we can help the 650 million people worldwide and the 4.4 million people in Canada living with disabilities today enjoy their full human rights.

Jean-Léon DesmeulesStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight the hard work of a volunteer who has never hesitated to get involved in a good cause. I want to speak about Jean-Léon Desmeules, who agreed to help create the Fondation de l'Hôpital de La Baie in 1987. He became the founding president in 1988 and held that position until 2009.

Mr. Desmeules has spent countless hours working tirelessly to recruit volunteers, structure the foundation and organize fundraising activities to get the hospital much-needed equipment. Mr. Desmeules has made a huge impact on the La Baie and Lower Saguenay region.

In his view, this foundation represents the understanding, commitment and generosity of each administrator, donor, collaborator, volunteer, association and social club that is involved in helping to develop and improve the Centre de santé et de services sociaux Cléophas-Claveau.

Sparky's Toy DriveStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the significant contributions the Windsor firefighters and the Salvation Army make in creating a more joyful Christmas for children in our community.

Through the annual Sparky's Toy Drive, Windsor firefighters gather over 35,000 toys for more than 3,600 children. Those toys are then distributed by the Salvation Army to families in need across the Windsor-Essex region.

Many of the toys that are given are purchased through the Windsor firefighters benefit fund. The annual kickoff dinner is one of the biggest fundraising events for the toy drive, but money is also raised through the Santa Claus parade, Spitfires hockey games, and the generous support of our community. However, as the price of gifts continues to rise, so does the need for continued and increased financial support.

The 2010 toy drive will soon come to an end, but the charitable work of the Windsor firefighters and the Salvation Army will continue throughout the year. Their compassionate efforts will help make Christmas a more memorable and joyful occasion for all children in our community.

Climate ChangeStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the manufactured controversy known as “Climategate” has now been debunked by five reviews, including Britain's Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. All concluded that scientists had not, as critics alleged, distorted scientific evidence about global warming.

A major assessment earlier this year from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences confirmed the relationship between climate change and human activities. It also warned of growing risks from rising sea levels, drought and disease that can only be addressed by quick action to reduce emissions.

That is why I encourage our government to accelerate its efforts through the clean energy dialogue with the United States and at the climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico.

As with the acid rain treaty of the 1980s, Canada can lead the United States and negotiate a Canada-U.S. climate change treaty that would allow us, as North Americans, to combat climate change and increase the likelihood of an international deal before the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012.

We need to act quickly and we need to act now.

Atlantic Beef ProductsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to congratulate the Atlantic Beef Products plant in Albany, P.E.I. for its recent culinary achievements.

Atlantic Beef Products processes beef from the Maritimes and it does so with “from the farm to the plate” in mind. Its product is getting rave reviews.

As headlined in the local press, “Like a fine wine allowed to age, a group of national food experts has declared P.E.I. beef as some of the finest in North America”.

The National Post meat lessons expert Sam Gundy and his team from Olliffe visited farms, toured the plant and sampled the excellence of P.E.I. beef. Emphasizing the P.E.I. production method, Mr. Gundy's article stated, “All of this serves to explain why the beef tastes differently and, why we think better. With its greater age before kill and unique diet, to us the beef has a more beefy taste–resembling what beef used to taste like”.

Congratulations to Atlantic Beef Plant and P.E.I. producers for their superior product.

Elections in Côte d'IvoireStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government strongly condemns the violence which occurred during the elections in Côte d'Ivoire. On behalf of the Government of Canada, we call on both parties to respect the decision of the people of Côte d'Ivoire. Canada remains committed to ensuring a transparent electoral process.

Yesterday the Independent Electoral Commission announced that Alassane Ouattara had won the presidential election. Since then, the military has sealed all air, land and sea borders into Côte d'Ivoire and blocked international media broadcasts. These are very troubling developments.

Any dispute with the announced result must be dealt with in a legal and peaceful manner. Our government repeats its call for all stakeholders to remain calm and respect the democratic will of the citizens of Côte d'Ivoire.

Les Tournesols Vocal EnsembleStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Les Tournesols vocal ensemble from Boucherville is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Its members span the generations, ranging in age from 20 to 75. This group is made up of some 70 singers who share their talents to the delight of their audience.

This choir has become a real musical institution in the Boucherville community. Organizations like the Les Tournesols vocal ensemble have helped make Boucherville a cultural city, and I am very proud of that.

I am looking forward to attending their next show, entitled Noël à travers nos 20 ans, in which they will revisit well-known Christmas songs in different languages from various countries. I wish Les Tournesols a happy 20th anniversary and many more to come.

EgyptStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada strongly condemns recent violence in Egypt targeted at the Coptic Christian minority. Media reports note that the clashes erupted last week between police and hundreds of people protesting after authorities halted the construction of a church in Cairo. It was also reported that several people died and many more were injured.

We also condemn the attacks of the Nag Hammadi, which singled out Christians for persecution in that country.

We impress upon the government of Egypt to take a strong leadership role in protecting all religious freedom and religious tolerance within its borders. Canada is a strong supporter of religious freedom for believers of all faiths.

We encourage the House and the Egyptian government to respect the rights of the Coptic Christians, who have an ancient history in that country and we hope a bright future of freedom and security.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the men and women who voluntarily contribute to society at local, national and international levels.

Established in 1985 by the United Nations, International Volunteer Day is celebrated every December 5 as a way of highlighting the true contributions of volunteers in our society and to also thank the countless volunteers who donate their time and energy.

As advocates, activists, board members, mentors, coaches, disaster relief workers and firefighters, to name a few, Canada's 12.5 million volunteers help their communities grow.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, I would like to thank volunteers across the country for their commitment to public service. I encourage Canadians to get involved in their community.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, many of my colleagues have talked about the key role that men play in working to end violence against women.

This morning, I would like to talk about a project funded by Status of Women Canada in Quebec, the Regroupement provincial des maisons d'hébergement et de transition pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale, a network of shelters and transition houses for women who are victims of domestic violence.

This project will involve 900 girls and 900 boys in high school. A series of workshops for students and anyone who plays a role in schools will build their capacity to recognize abusive relationships and report them, and improve their ability to react appropriately.

And it will not stop there. Committees will be convened to promote the initiative in schools and encourage young people to speak out against violence and be leaders among their peers.

This initiative is another example of how women, men, girls and boys can work together to end violence against women.

Harmonized Sales TaxStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support the call by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board for tax fairness.

In a letter to the Minister of Finance, our school trustees are calling for a full rebate of the HST payable by school boards. As members know, the HST has increased the costs in Ontario. Money that should be going to our students' education is being clawed back through the HST. Our school board in Ottawa estimates that a full rebate of the HST will mean $2.3 million in savings. That is a 25% increase in the funds available for upgrading our schools. It means new textbooks, new educational assistants and new learning staff for students. It means new ESL teachers and multi-cultural liaison officers to support Ottawa's growing new-Canadian population.

This is a simple solution to ensure we leave more money in the hands of our school boards to address our students' educational needs. I urge the government to listen to this school board's plea for immediate action.

International Day of Persons with DisabilitiesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. No government has done more for Canadians with disabilities than our Conservative government.

We introduced the historic registered disability savings plan to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of a child. Having a child with those concerns and needs, we personally, as a couple, have benefited from that. As a government, we also created the enabling accessibility fund, which is making buildings in communities across the country more accessible. We ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Just listen to what Al Etmanski from the PLAN Institute had to say. He said, “I believe [this] Government is hands down the most effective Federal champion people with disabilities and their families have ever had.”

Our government's initiatives are making a positive difference and we will continue to support the full participation of Canadians with disabilities.

Infrastructure ProgramStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Bloc Québécois's insistence finally paid off. The government changed its mind, finally saw reason and announced that it would extend the infrastructure program.

Municipalities will have until October 31, 2011, an extra seven months, to complete projects undertaken as part of the program. Quebec's municipal affairs department and the Fédération des municipalités du Québec estimated that nearly a third of the projects would likely not be completed. The Bloc Québécois's victory represents $220 million for Quebec. Let us not forget that the National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion urging the federal government to see reason on this matter.

This is another concrete example of how the Bloc Québécois is useful and relevant in the House of Commons. We take a stand and get things done for Quebec.

Forest Fire in Northern IsraelStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the forest fire in northern Israel has cost dozens of lives and come close to the city of Haifa and many of its people and institutions, including Haifa university which has just been evacuated. Canada and Canadians will respond to this tragedy. Israel's request for assistance in fighting this fire needs a speedy and firm “yes” from federal and provincial governments, including sending fire retardant agents and water bombers.

Our own country knows only too well the devastating impact such fires can have. We can all imagine the impact on a much smaller country and its people. This transcends politics and parties. It is about people helping people and doing so as quickly and effectively as we can.

The EconomyStatements By Members

December 3rd, 2010 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning Statistics Canada reported that 15,200 jobs were created in November and unemployment dropped to 7.6%. November's job growth once again shows that Canada's economic action plan is creating jobs and keeping our economic recovery on track.

The Canadian economy has experienced growth in the last five quarters. Since July of last year, more than 441,000 jobs have been created in Canada. But the global economic recovery remains fragile. And so, jobs and the economy are still our top priority as we implement our action plan for job creation while keeping taxes low.

While Canada's economic action plan continues to produce results for Canadians, the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition is planning to increase job creators' taxes, which would put the brakes on our recovery and kill nearly 400,000 jobs.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the unelected, unaccountable, Conservative-dominated Senate killed the long-term disability pensions, and again the government laughs, of more than 400 Nortel employees. These people are suffering from Parkinson's Disease and similar disabilities. Without their pensions, they will be destitute just 28 days from today.

At a time when Conservatives have a lot of money for jets and jails, corporate tax giveaways and bloated ministerial offices, why can the government not help 408 innocent, hard-working but now disabled Canadians?

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberal Party would like to reform the Senate, I would encourage it to get behind this government's agenda.

We have legislation before Parliament with respect to elections of senators and with respect to the term limits going from 45 years to 8 years. We think that is incredibly important.

However, the issue involving Nortel pensioners and LTD recipients is obviously a very serious one. Regrettably, the reality is we cannot legally and constitutionally make laws that apply retroactively. I think the member opposite knows that.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister is plainly wrong.

Since coming to office, the Conservatives have wasted a billion dollars in extra spending on partisan advertising, outside consultants and other excesses. The Prime Minister's personal political expenses are up by more than 30% in just the last two years. The political spending of the Minister of Justice is up by nearly 20%. The Minister of Transport, is up 100%. The chief government whip is up 235%. Yet disgraceful Conservative senators are hacking the pensions of the long-term disabled.

How can the Conservatives look themselves in the mirror?

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. If we want to look at the basket of political expenses by this government, let us look at the expenses in the offices of the ministers. The use of government aircraft, particularly the use of Challenger aircraft, travel and other associated expenses, hospitality and polling expenses are dramatically reduced under this government. The member opposite, I suspect, knows that.

We are following the issue incredibly closely with respect to the situation involving Nortel LTD recipients. The reality is we cannot make laws retroactive. If the member opposite believed in this, he had 13 years to change the Bankruptcy Act and failed to do so.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is not just the disabled at Nortel. Two-thirds of Canadians do not have decent retirement savings at all. Under the current government, poverty for senior citizens has jumped 25%. Family household debt has skyrocketed. It is 50% higher than disposable incomes. The well-being of children is dropping.

Why does the government lavish $6 million in personal benefits on one Conservative senator, Senator Brazeau and his used Porsche, when it has nothing for pensions, family caregivers or better access to education?