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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

CIS Basketball ChampionshipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men's basketball team on their Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship. The Huskies were ranked fifth going into the tournament, but managed to capture the first W.P. McGee trophy in team history with a 91 to 81 win against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

This triumph comes just two weeks after the Huskies claimed their first ever Canada West title. Our Huskies ended the season on a 13 game winning streak and won 17 of their 18 contests, including a 104 to 87 overtime victory over UBC in the conference semifinals. Saskatchewan is the first Canada West team to capture the McGee trophy since Alberta beat Western in 2002.

On behalf of all members of the House, I would like to congratulate the players, coaches and staff of the Huskies, and the University of Saskatchewan for a great victory.

Quebec Adult Learners WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week we are celebrating Quebec Adult Learners Week.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the courage of thousands of adults who return to school, whether to obtain more training, to learn a new trade or simply for personal satisfaction. The road is not always an easy one, but it is a rewarding one in terms of individual well-being and in terms of the social wealth and prosperity of the Quebec nation.

This year once again, Quebec Adult Learners Week was coordinated by the Institut de coopération pour l'éducation des adultes, ICEA, a grassroots organization that has been bringing together partners from all walks of life for over 60 years, in order to make training more accessible to adults. The slogan for this year's eighth edition is “1001 Ways of Learning!” and the ICEA has organized over 500 events across Quebec to celebrate.

I would like to applaud four literacy groups in Longueuil for their initiative: the IOTA club, Écrit Tôt, Boîte à lettres and Le Fablier, which will run an information booth at the Georges-Dor library.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Industry announced the first of Lockheed Martin's in-service support contracts for the new Super Hercules fleet, as per its agreement with the Government of Canada.

Our government is ensuring that major investments in defence hardware also mean high-tech jobs and economic growth for our communities across Canada. This is good news for the Canadian Forces, and good news for Canadian workers and their families.

Our industrial regional benefits policy has ensured and will continue to ensure that all regions of our country receive economic benefits from this and all other major defence procurement by our government. Year two of our economic action plan sets out to protect the jobs of today while creating the jobs of tomorrow. Today's announcement proves that we are getting the job done.

International Organization of la FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 20, Canada, as one of the founding members, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the International Organization of la Francophonie, along with rest of the world's 70 francophone countries.

The few activities organized in Canada did little to help us forget the Conservative government's neglect of the importance of the French language and francophone culture during international events where Canada is represented.

The Vancouver Olympic Games are a recent example of this neglect. Unfortunately, French did not occupy the place it deserved during the celebrations. The Conservative government has been justly and frequently criticized for that neglect.

Despite this neglect, the Francophonie has a solid position in the world. Congratulations to all those countries that continue to promote both the French language and francophone culture.

Child CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, we already know the Liberal Party thinks that Canadian moms and dads spend the $100 per month universal child care benefit on beer and popcorn. Now the Liberal MP for St. Paul's has suggested that stay-at-home moms raising their kids at home were not doing a real job. She should ask anyone raising a child at home if it is a real job.

The fact is that our Conservative government has taken real action to help women get into the workforce, but we are also helping moms and dads every day by providing real choice in child care. That is because we believe in giving parents real choice every day.

The member for St. Paul's should apologize for insulting stay-at-home parents, but no one should be surprised that the Liberals' real feelings about stay-at-home parents have once again come out of the woodwork.

EmploymentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to attend the opening of the Hamilton Jobs Action Centre last Friday. This joint initiative between the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton, the Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton and Employment Ontario is especially important for Hamiltonians in these hard times.

The crushing rate of unemployment combined with the disaster of the Siemens plant closure means that the Hamilton Jobs Action Centre will be hard at work providing much needed support to laid-off workers in the greater Hamilton area. The centre will also retrain workers to help them re-enter the job market and begin rebuilding their shattered lives.

At the opening, I was joined by my federal colleague, the member for Hamilton Mountain; Ontario NDP leader, Andrea Horwath; Hamilton City Councilmen Scott Duvall, Tom Jackson, Bernie Morelli and Sam Merulla; as well as MPPs Paul Miller and Ted McMeekin.

My friend, Don Jaffray, executive director of the SPRC and MC for the event, said that we will truly rejoice and celebrate when, like food banks, we permanently close the doors to this centre through lack of need.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, fortunately, ridicule never killed anyone, because today we would be mourning the loss of the leader of the Bloc Québécois. On the weekend the Bloc leader dared to compare his party to French resistance fighters during the Nazi occupation.

How could anyone tolerate such unacceptable and completely ridiculous remarks?

This is proof, on top of all the rest, that demonstrates the Bloc's lack of credibility in the House for the past 20 years. The Bloc leader spoke out in desperation. He wants Quebec to separate so badly, whatever the cost, that he is now using outlandish and unacceptable comparisons.

The Bloc leader needs to stop hiding the truth and tell Quebeckers clearly that his party's only goal is to prevent Quebec from developing and growing within Canada. The Bloc simply does not understand that Quebeckers are no longer interested in hearing about separation.

What they want is a government that is ready to roll up its sleeves and that is working to protect their jobs and balance the budget without increasing taxes. Our Conservative government is doing just that.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

March 22nd, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to three great Haitian feminists who died in the January 12 earthquake. They were three pioneers in the fight for equality and against violence.

Magalie Marcelin helped Haitian women to be heard, to tell their stories and to carve out their future, and also founded Kay Fanm, a shelter for battered women.

Myriam Merlet was a feminist author and researcher, a revolutionary and a visionary with a very big heart. Thanks to her determination, a Haitian court handed down a guilty verdict to a man who had beaten his wife.

Anne Marie Coriolan fought by their sides in order to change the law to make rape, long used as a political weapon, a punishable crime.

Together with my colleagues from the Bloc Québécois, I commend their courage and their exceptional work. We will remember them.

2010 Paralympic GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, with the closing of the 2010 Paralympic Games yesterday, Canadians celebrate the most memorable Paralympic games in our history, instilling in us a new level of national pride.

The record 19 medals, 10 of them gold, won by our Canadian Paralympians could not be a better tribute to the spirit and determination of these remarkable athletes. It was especially moving that the closing ceremonies fell on the 25th anniversary of the start of Rick Hansen's Man in Motion tour.

Rick's tour altered the world's view of people who live with disabilities, and these Paralympic Games continued to show their world their incredible abilities. Their accomplishments in overcoming obstacles to succeed at their sports were inspirations, and Canadians could not be more proud.

However, these games were also a success thanks to the organizing committee, employees, the thousands of volunteers who welcomed the world so warmly, and of course the fans, once again proudly displaying that unique red and white Canadianism for the world to see.

Congratulations to all.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, later this week the Liberal leader will be holding his so-called thinkers conference in Montreal to try and scare up some new policy ideas for the tired old Liberal Party.

Sadly, this conference will be more like a spenders conference. It will only dream up big expensive ways to raise Canadian taxes.

What is more though, this event reveals a lot about the Liberal leader. It is a closed door event and if one does not get an invitation, one cannot attend. The event is so elitist that the Liberal leader did not even bother to invite his own MPs. Does that mean he does not believe his MPs can think? The location of the conference does not even show up on its website.

Clearly, the leader does not want average Canadians to attend; his thinking being, what would ordinary Canadians be able to bring to a so-called thinkers conference?

The Liberal leader had better rethink his conference. After 37 years away, the Liberal leader is clearly out of touch with Canadians.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker--

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

An hon. member

Welcome back.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not miss a thing.

Mr. Speaker, the government has created a scandal at Rights & Democracy. Last week, it prevented Suzanne Trépanier, Rémy Beauregard's widow, from testifying before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. Now we learn that the government has changed its mind once again.

Can the Prime Minister and the government confirm that Ms. Trépanier—as well as the organization's former presidents, former employees and dissenting directors—will be allowed to testify?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me join members of the Liberal caucus in welcoming back to Ottawa the Leader of the Opposition. He said he did not miss anything, but we certainly missed him.

Let me say what I said on Friday. We said that we hoped that the committee could put aside partisan politics. We hoped it could put aside divisive bickering and come to an agenda to allow Madame Trépanier, who has obviously suffered a great loss, to be able to share her views with the committee and with Canadians.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to be welcomed back but I did not miss a thing. I heard about the government's flip-flops in every town all week.

The government has made a total mess of a great institution, Rights & Democracy. It has intervened. It has undermined its political independence. It has appointed a hyper-partisan president. Now it goes on to blame the staff.

Will the Prime Minister work with us in good faith to repair the damage done? Will he guarantee that he will not use this crisis, which is of his own making, in order to eliminate Rights & Democracy altogether?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me say at the outset that I disagree with many of the comments made before the member asked his question.

I know all members were excited that the Prime Minister was representing the Government of Canada at the closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games. I want to join the member opposite in congratulating the great job that athletes and organizers did for that.

With respect to Rights & Democracy, there is no view to closing the operation down. Obviously we just appointed a new president and chief executive officer, which I think shows the government's support for this important institution.

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government has shown nothing but contempt for independent organizations such as Rights & Democracy. It has made a mess of this organization by trying to gag employees. Now it is showing contempt for the parliamentary committee.

Will the Prime Minister assure us that his latest flip-flop will be the last, and that the government will cooperate with the committee so that we can work together to set things right at this important Canadian organization?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, from time to time politics does arise at committee. It is our hope that partisan politics can be put aside and that all members of the committee will work together on setting hearings and allowing key people, who could contribute to their discussion, to make their views known, not just to the committee but through them to the people of Canada.

Airline SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, security officials at Canada's airports had a busy month, mostly due to outrageous behaviour by Conservative ministers.

The status of women minister felt baggage limits should not apply to her, not to mention her attempt to crash a security door. The veterans affairs minister wanted security officials to hold his tequila, like it was his personal coat check.

Could the transport minister state where in Canada's air regulations they allow Conservative ministers to berate officials and demand privileged treatment?

Airline SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Airline SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, order. The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs has the floor, and we will have to have some order so we can hear his response to this question.

Airline SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I was at the airport a month ago. We had forgotten that there was a bottle of alcohol in our carry-on luggage. Of course, the bottle was confiscated by the security officials.

I never asked for any preferential treatment whatsoever. I remained polite at the airport at all times. The security officials did their job and I respected their decision.

Airline SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister or the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities just not get it?

Section 705 of the Canadian aviation regulations is clear that “argumentative...intimidating, or disorderly behaviour” is a level 3 violation, the second highest on the scale, and we are talking of intimidation here. Any other Canadian would have been grounded, arrested or even “tased”, as Kory Teneycke put it.

Why have there been absolutely no consequences for these ministers who have brazenly broken airport safety regulations?

Airline SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I want to repeat that I did not ask for any preferential treatment whatsoever. I just would not do that. I repeat that I apologize to anyone I may have offended.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government constantly comes up with poor excuses not to compensate Quebec for harmonizing the GST. However, on page 68 of budget 2006, the federal government says that Quebec did indeed harmonize its sales tax. Then the federal government kept dishing out excuses about tax on tax and exemptions on certain products. Both issues have been resolved.

The Government of Quebec has addressed every single one of the federal government's objections and conditions. What exactly is the holdup? We would like to know.