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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was documents.

Topics

Erik GuayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Madam Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to a great athlete, a resident of Mont-Tremblant in my riding, Erik Guay.

On March 11, with his second super G win in five days and his third consecutive podium finish in as many days, this 28-year-old alpine skier got his hands on the small crystal globe that goes to the best skier of the season in super G. Erik Guay is the first Quebecker to receive such an honour.

On the heels of his disappointing fifth-place finish in two events at the Vancouver Olympic Games, he ended his season with a bang by finishing first overall in super G.

This outstanding athlete, whose trainer is quick to describe him as a competitive, mature skier with a flawless mental game, is certainly a source of inspiration and pride for all of us.

My colleagues in the Bloc Québécois and I want to congratulate Erik Guay on his achievement.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the International Day of la Francophonie being celebrated on March 20, the New Democratic Party would like to wish all the francophones and francophiles here in Canada and abroad a happy International Day of la Francophonie.

Despite the progress we have been able to make in Canada over the past 40 years with respect to bilingualism and support for French-language minority communities, unfortunately there is still too much inequality.

If you think of the government’s lack of will to foster the French language, you might wonder if the situation is even getting worse.

Despite its great promises, the government has disparaged the rights of francophones since coming to power, and the francophones of this country have had enough. With the International Day of La Francophonie upon us, I have a wish to make. I wish that the government will once and for all recognize the francophones of this country as full citizens and give them the rights to which they are entitled.

I am very proud to be a Franco-Ontarian.

DemocracyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have heard people say that Canadians are not interested in the political process. I disagree. I recently held 17 town hall accountability meetings throughout my riding and my constituents brought to me a wide range of issues, including the economy, justice and agriculture issues, to mention a few.

I am proud to say that many of the things my constituents were asking for have already been delivered by this Conservative government. They generally supported the targeted short-term stimulus funding but made it clear that it was time to bring the budget back into balance. Our government has delivered with a responsible plan to do exactly that. They told me that they wanted our justice system to focus more on protecting society and victims of crimes and less on criminals, and we are doing exactly that.

For democracy to work, we as MPs must keep in touch with those we represent. Therefore, I thank everyone who attended one of my town hall meetings for doing that and for participating. Democracy is indeed alive and well.

World Firefighter Combat ChallengeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a young man from my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's. Dwayne Drover, originally from the small town of Lourdes, a community of 550 people, can rightly claim to be a world champion.

At the World Firefighter Combat Challenge held in Las Vegas in November, Dwayne finished first in the individual category earning him the title of the best firefighter in the world. In addition, Dwayne placed first in the tandem competition.

Dwayne is a firefighter with the City of Waterloo Fire Department in Ontario, and, when preparing for a competition, trains five to six hours a day, in addition to carrying out his regular responsibilities.

After winning the challenge in Las Vegas, Dwayne said that the experience for him was the equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup.

We all know how important firefighters are and the incredible personal sacrifice they make in safeguarding the lives of others.

I ask all members to join me in saluting all firefighters and, in particular, Dwayne Drover on this remarkable accomplishment.

University Athlete of the YearStatements By Members

March 18th, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, London, Ontario has a secret that is hard to keep. We have a rising star who is gaining national and international prominence.

Last week, Jen Cotten was named the outstanding female athlete of this year's Canadian University Championships.

As a University of Western Ontario student, Jen has broken many records and leaves as the most-decorated university track and field athlete, male or female, ever. She has come to dominate the pentathlon, as well as the long jump, high jump, shot put and hurdles.

At major national and international competitions, Jen has been awarded the most valuable athlete, the most outstanding athlete, the most valuable female performer and the most outstanding female athlete. She has also been recognized with other prestigious awards but is extraordinarily modest and keeps a great sense of humour.

Jen Cotten has our best wishes as she looks ahead to the next summer Olympics in 2012. Getting there will be a lot of work but we have every confidence IN Jen. Her resume already reads like the Olympic motto, “Swifter, higher, stronger”.

While we will cheer loudly for Jen, it will never be louder than her deeply proud grandfather, the member for Oxford.

Clara HughesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Clara Hughes, a prominent athlete from Glen Sutton, in my riding of Brome—Missisquoi.

The crowning achievement of Ms. Hughes' amazing career was certainly winning the bronze medal in the 5,000 metre long track speed skating event at the Vancouver Olympics.

Let me just say loud and clear that this was her sixth medal in five Olympic Games. Clara Hughes is one of only four athletes in the entire history of the Olympics to win medals in both the summer Olympics—in cycling—and the winter Olympics—in speed skating.

A tremendously generous athlete, Ms. Hughes donated the prize money from her medal win to the children sponsored by the “take a hike” organization, and in Turin, she donated $10,000 out of her own pocket to the “right to play” program.

We in the Bloc Québécois extend our warmest congratulations to Clara Hughes.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, our government announced legislative changes to strengthen the way the young offenders system deals with violent and repeat offenders.

Yesterday, a bill to strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry was announced. The Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act would further protect our children and all Canadians.

Our government believes that Quebeckers and Canadians have the right to feel safe in their communities. Our government is going one step further by making the protection of society the key principle of the federal correctional system.

Today, we introduced a bill to amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act.

Our Conservative government continues to move forward and put public safety first in order to protect our families and our communities.

Oscar PetersonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the National Arts Centre just kicked off a fundraiser to honour Oscar Peterson, arguably the greatest jazz man of all time.

Peterson grew up in Montreal in humble circumstances and rose to the top of his art.

Generations of Canadian musicians have been influenced by his talent, and so it is appropriate that the NAC should commemorate his distinguished career.

Oscar Peterson made generations of Canadians dance, cry and pause to reflect, especially at his many appearances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

His music is part of the cultural history of Quebec and Canada. His personal story will continue to inspire Canadians and to honour our society.

I encourage Canadians to contribute to the National Arts Centre campaign and to discover or rediscover the music of this great Quebecker and Canadian.

Economic Action PlanStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Conservative Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is now implementing year two of Canada's economic action plan. This plan has helped Canada cope with the effects of the global recession better than nearly every other industrialized country.

Our plan cut taxes for families. We extended EI benefits to help the unemployed and we expanded skills training for those moving into new jobs. In every corner of this country, almost 60,000 infrastructure projects are putting Canadians to work and building hope in the largest cities and smallest towns.

Our plan is working. Since last July, almost 160,000 new jobs have been created, but our work is not yet complete. We will not be satisfied until all Canadians who have lost jobs are working again. Canadians can count on our government to continue to put jobs and the economy first. Jobs and economic growth remain our priority.

TuberculosisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, tuberculosis rates among aboriginal Canadians are skyrocketing at levels higher than many third world countries. This is a national emergency that needs an urgent plan of action and yet the government has no plan, not even on first nations reserves for which it has clear constitutional responsibility.

Can anyone imagine that Inuit TB rates are 185 times the national average and the Minister of Health, the member for Nunavut, is not even raising an eyebrow, all the while trying to slough the responsibility off onto provinces and territories? Aboriginal TB rates are 51 times the general public and yet the government refuses to pay for X-rays to test residents on reserves like Garden Hill in Manitoba. TB is a treatable disease but Canadian lives are still being lost.

However, members do not need take it from me. They need only look at the research and the recent award-winning Winnipeg Free Press series by Jen Skerritt and follow up by reporter Mia Rabson. TB is called ”the forgotten disease”. It certainly has been forgotten by the government and that must end today.

Violent CrimeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government has continuously taken action to get tough on crime and protect our communities. I am particularly proud of the Tackling Violent Crime Act that targets dangerous offenders, impaired drivers, sexual predators and those who commit serious gun crimes.

We did not stop there. Just this week, the Minister of Justice introduced legislation to strengthen the way the young offenders system deals with violent and repeat young offenders.

Yesterday, the protecting victims from sex offenders act was tabled in the Senate. This act would further protect our children and help victims.

Today, the Minister of Public Safety tabled important amendments to the International Transfer of Offenders Act. These amendments would ensure that the protection of our society is the paramount consideration when assessing requests for the transfer of international offenders.

We continue to call on the opposition to support our tough on crime measures. Canadians expect action and we are delivering.

Rendez-vous de la FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, from March 5 to 21, we are celebrating the 12th Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, in connection with the International Day of La Francophonie, which will be celebrated on March 20.

Quebec singer Mario Pelchat has agreed to be the spokesperson for the rendez-vous, and he invites the 9.5 million francophones in Quebec and Canada to join the celebrations. I encourage members to participate in the many activities that will be held in their ridings, like the ones organized in my riding of Rivière-du-Nord on March 6 at the Salle André-Prévost and on March 12 at the Salle Antoine-Lessard.

I extend a special invitation to all my colleagues to come to Val-d'Or, in Abitibi, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and was named Francoville 2010 by the Office québécois de la langue française.

This year, the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie has created a network on Facebook for anyone who loves the French language and La Francophonie. The network is called “Rendez-vous de la Francophonie”.

I invite all francophones and francophiles to come out and enjoy the festivities.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial DiscriminationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday, March 21, marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

This year, in light of the upcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa where the theme will be “disqualify racism”, efforts will be made to prevent racist incidents because still today, in all regions of the world, too many individuals and communities suffer from injustice due to racism.

Fifty years ago this Sunday, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa against the apartheid “pass laws”. In 1966, the UN General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

On Sunday, we must take the time as a nation to cherish the rich diversity of humankind that makes Canada such a vibrant community and respect the dignity and equality of every human being, regardless of colour, nationality, language or culture.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has found himself at odds with Canadians. He cannot stand our jobs and growth budget. He cannot stand that our economy is recovering. He cannot stand that Canadians have rejected his tax and spend ways. So, he is taking a break and he is on his tax and spend road show.

The Liberal leader may try to convince Canadians his uncosted spending promises provide an alternative to our jobs and growth budget, but his alternative is clear. The Liberal leader will raise our taxes and kill jobs. We know this because he said it: “we will have to raise taxes”.

The Liberal leader might think his March break lecture will change the facts, but Canadians know better. Higher taxes kill jobs. When the Liberal leader chooses his tax and spend road show over the work of this House, he proves what we have been saying along. The Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians, he is only in it for himself.

Ten PercentersOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the public clearly detests the practice of mass mailing millions of nasty pamphlets known as ten percenters to voters outside an MP's own riding. There is no way we can paint a moustache on that pig and call it Brad Pitt.

The House voted Tuesday to end the practice. The Conservatives voted to keep it, but yesterday, the Prime Minister seemed to indicate that he too was ready to get rid of out-of-riding ten percenters.

Would the Prime Minister confirm this point today, and are we all now on the same page for the Board of Internal Economy?

Ten PercentersOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is an odd question coming from the Liberal Party. I am told that just in the last few days our members have received mailings from the members for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Toronto Centre, Eglinton—Lawrence, York Centre, Winnipeg South Centre, Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, and Etobicoke Centre.

The position of our government is clear. If all of the parties wish to abolish this particular subsidy for mailings outside of an MP's own riding, of course this party would be delighted to do that. Of course, we would also like to see the $30 million direct tax subsidy to political parties abolished.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Prime Minister that 69% of the mass mailings that are done come from the Conservative Party and not from this side of the House.

I take it that what the Prime Minister has done is confirm the point that we are all on the same page. I hope that makes life easier for you, Mr. Speaker.

Let me ask the Prime Minister a different question.

The governance problems that have been of concern at First Nations University have been fixed. No one condones the administrative mistakes that were made in the past, but they are past. A new structure is in hand. The University of Regina is prepared to handle the money matters while First Nations University concentrates on the learning of students.

Will the Prime Minister give it a chance?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again I think I have been very clear on the subject of these mailings. Of course the Conservative Party, as I said, will support eliminating them. My point is that the statement made by the Liberal Party yesterday that it has already ended its program is completely untrue.

In terms of the second question the member asked me, our concern is with aboriginal students. The Minister of Indian Affairs has made it clear that we will take action to ensure those students are protected, but no level of government will continue to support the kind of abuse we have seen at that particular institution.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the administrative deficiencies that the Prime Minister speaks of have been corrected and it is time now to aim for the future.

For several hundred young aboriginal students every year, if there is no First Nations University, there will be no higher education. It is not right to visit upon these innocent young people the past sins of others.

The total amount needed by First Nations University is about one-third of what this Parliament has been spending annually to print and distribute those wasteful ten percenters. Would it not be more appropriate to give that money to First Nations University?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the hon. member is coming from on that. What I read into that is that he would like to get rid of the political subsidies to political parties in order to help fund some other important things.

If he wants to talk about that, that would be interesting, but what we have said on First Nations University is that we continue to see a litany of announcements. The latest one is that $400,000 that was destined for student scholarships is now missing.

We have said that we will continue to support those students. Sixty-five per cent of them receive funding from the federal government. That continues, as does our support for the Indian students support program, which they can apply for.

International DevelopmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in July 2009, the G8 summit communiqué contained words committing the member states to “voluntary family planning” and “sexual and reproductive health care”.

I would like to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs, how is it possible that Canadian foreign policy has been hijacked by the tea partiers on the other side, taking us away from great traditions and taking us away from the principle that our policies should be consistent with what the government agreed to last year?

International DevelopmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, at the upcoming summit the G8 leaders will discuss and chart the way forward to tackle child and maternal health.

As we have been saying all along, we are not closing the door on any options that will save the lives of mothers and children, including contraception. And as we have been saying all along, we are not opening the abortion debate.

International DevelopmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there has been a total change in the party policy announced yesterday and then today by the government. In his budget, the minister announced cuts of nearly $200 million in funds for the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

How are these cuts in sync with a policy that aims to care for women and children in Africa? What she has just announced is totally incompatible with that.

International DevelopmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this government knows how to manage its finances. We are in fact increasing the budget for CIDA, for its international assistance. We have been doing that consistently. We will reach a level of international assistance never reached by any other government in the history of Canada.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, no progress is being made in the matter of tax harmonization. The Prime Minister told us yesterday that Quebec had not harmonized its tax. And yet, the 2006 budget clearly indicates that it has.

The federal government also used the excuse that Quebec was collecting a tax on a tax. That has also been resolved. We were also told that Quebec did not charge the sales tax on certain goods, such as books. There are similar exceptions in other provinces, and that has not prevented the government from concluding agreements with them.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that what he really wants is to collect the GST instead of Quebec?