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

Topics

Rural Tourism IndustryStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, Canadian families planning their vacation should know that rural Alberta offers all the best in summer vacations.

The Growing Rural Tourism Conference is an initiative of the Camrose Regional Exhibition, Alberta Tourism, Parks & Recreation, Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development and Travel Alberta. The 10th annual conference will be hosted by the Camrose Regional Exhibition, April 12 to 14.

Our communities understand the importance of our rural tourism industry, and the many and unique opportunities it offers. During the current economic times, our tourism industry boosts local economies and provides great attractions and experiences for Canadian families.

When one visits Alberta, it is not just for the beautiful mountains and sunshine; there is much more. We have great music, live theatre, historic sites, museums, golf, and rodeos everywhere.

I urge members to come visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller and see the hoodoos. There is the Big Valley Jamboree, country music at its best in Camrose; the historical Atlas Coal Mine; the Canadian Badlands Passion Play; and the world's largest lamp.

Epilepsy Awareness MonthStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Madam Speaker, March is Epilepsy Awareness Month in Canada.

Epilepsy is not well understood despite afflicting 300,000 Canadians. The public's lack of knowledge creates fear, discrimination, and stigma surrounding those with this condition.

Each day 42 of our fellow Canadians learn they have epilepsy; 60% of them will be either young children or senior citizens. They face no formalized diagnosis system.

There is a need for an effective and improved means of control and a need for accurate diagnoses. They face the prospect of having behaviour and emotional issues simply from a condition that is so little understood. One-third of people with epilepsy do not yet have an effective treatment.

I invite my colleagues to join with my constituents Margaret Maye, Gary Neumann, and their son Thomas of Epilepsy Cure Initiative, to help give thousands of Canadians control back over their lives.

Jean LabontéStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, despite the Canadian sledge hockey team's heartbreaking defeat at the Vancouver Paralympic Games, I would like to congratulate all of the players, especially Gatineau citizen Jean Labonté, team captain and defenceman.

I would like to highlight Jean Labonté's courage, determination and indomitable will. Despite the team's defeat, he showed that he is a first-rate athlete and a great and passionate man. I cannot help but admire this accomplished player. As a hockey fan, I know that he and his team gave us the most exciting games of the whole event.

I do not know whether he will continue to play next year. I have heard rumours that he has played his last game. If that is true, then my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I would like to wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.

Bravo, Jean Labonté.

Norman Wells Oil FieldStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Madam Speaker, recent news reports about the Conservative government's plans to sell off its share of the Norman Wells oil field as a way of balancing the books have my constituents greatly concerned.

In September 1988 Canada signed an enabling agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories that all oil and gas resource revenues from the onshore NWT, except those committed to aboriginal claim settlements, shall be reserved for the NWT.

In 1999 the Federal Court ruled that payments to Canada from the Norman Wells oil field are resource revenues. Based on that decision, any revenues, including those from a sale of the oil field, belong to the NWT. This oil field is being held in trust for the people of the Northwest Territories and should be treated as such.

It is high time the Conservative government recognized its responsibility to its northern territories.

Acts of BraveryStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Conservative Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 4 of this year Tony Tingskou received the medal of bravery from the Governor General for his heroic rescue of two people from a burning car after a devastating accident.

In 2007 Mr. Tingskou came upon an accident scene in Abbotsford and chose to pull over to see if he could help. In spite of the fire and smoke, Tony and two other rescuers risked their own lives by smashing one of the car windows and pulling a 16-year-old girl and her father from the car and certain death.

I would like to ask all my colleagues in this House to join me in honouring Tony Tingskou for his heroic actions. A true hero is someone who puts his or her own life in jeopardy in order to save the lives of others and Tony did just that.

Congratulations Tony.

AutismStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, a day when autism advocacy groups call on their governments to take necessary measures to raise awareness about this neural development disorder and to encourage early diagnosis and prevention.

As there is not yet a cure, autism spectrum disorder is treatable through many different therapies. Without a cure for this lifelong disability, early detection, diagnosis and interventions are key factors to help each individual affected by ASD to reach his or her unique potential.

Many Canadian researchers are playing lead roles in many global research initiatives to help determine the onsets, as well as to develop a cure. The government needs to support the initiative to develop a national strategy for autism in order to help continued research and provide better co-ordination of federal assistance.

I encourage all members of Parliament to learn more about autism spectrum disorder following question period today in room 238-S.

Canadian ForcesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, this year as we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the victory of Europe and the liberation of the Netherlands, it hearkens one back to the sacrifices of our greatest generation.

To me, it is names of heroes such as Olaf Storseth, Walter Thompson, Morris Melnyk and others of the 14th Canadian Hussars from my area who joined the 1.1 million Canadian men and women of their generation on the boot of Italy and the shores of Normandy and in the liberation of the Netherlands to fight for democracy and freedom. In many ways, they gave up their today so that the generations that followed could have their tomorrow.

As we take time to remember them and their victory, let us also remember our heroes of today. Our men and women of the Canadian armed forces still carry on this proud tradition of sacrifice and gallantry in action in Afghanistan, Haiti and other theatres around the world.

I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing the tremendous past and present of the men and women of the Canadian armed forces.

La RevueStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 20, La Revue, an independent newspaper, won the 2009 business of the year award at the Mascouche chamber of commerce's 2010 gala of excellence.

The weekly paper, headquartered in Terrebonne, won the award because it has been committed to and involved in the development of the RCM of Les Moulins for 50 years. In his acceptance speech, Gilles Bordonado, president and CEO of La Revue, emphasized the symbiotic relationship between his paper and the RCM of Les Moulins, each helping and promoting the other.

Mr. Bordonado dedicated the award to the paper's founder, Aimé Despatis, who passed away last year. The whole team at La Revue is passionately committed to the pursuit of excellence that enabled Mr. Despatis to make his paper a success.

I would like to congratulate the whole team at La Revue on this well-deserved award. Long live this independent newspaper.

Refugee SystemStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada has one of the most generous asylum systems in the world, but our system is broken. It is crippled by long delays and a cumbersome process that results in claims sometimes taking more than a decade to resolve. These delays encourage people not in need of protection to make an asylum claim and abuse the generosity of our system.

Today I am pleased to say that our government announced balanced reforms to improve Canada's asylum system and will allow us to provide faster protection to those fleeing persecution and will implement faster removals for those making bogus refugee claims. Additionally, these improvements to our system will also allow our government to help more refugees settle in Canada and increase our resettlement assistance program funding to $54 million, the first increase in 10 years.

These new measures will strengthen Canada's asylum system while ensuring Canada continues to exceed its international domestic obligation. I encourage all opposition parties to support this important legislation.

PassoverStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night and tonight Jewish families and their guests are celebrating Passover to commemorate the passage of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom.

It is a time of family celebration with Seders often shared with friends of many faiths and many backgrounds. The rituals and celebrations of Passover are, of course, cherished by Jews throughout the world, but the messages are universal: to recognize the strangers in our midst, to understand the importance of protecting the vulnerable, to celebrate those who have overcome injustice as we remember those whose oppression continues.

All Canadians can share in these messages as we express our profound solidarity with Jews throughout the world.

Honda CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is a great day for Alliston, for Simcoe County, for the Ontario economy and for the Canadian automotive industry as a whole.

Today, Honda Canada announced it will add a second shift to its facility in Alliston. Honda will create more than 400 new jobs, further signalling the recovery of the automotive industry and it is indeed gaining momentum.

This signals confidence in highly skilled Canadian workers and confirms that Canada has the right conditions to attract business investments and create jobs.

While the leader of the Liberals continues to spend his time thinking up new ways to raise our taxes, our Conservative government has been hard at work creating this vibrant economic environment for companies like Honda to flourish and to contribute to this great country.

PensionsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I announced the tabling of Bill C-501 which will put pension plans at the front of the line when a company enters bankruptcy protection or undertakes restructuring.

Workers at AbitibiBowater and other forestry companies across Canada have waited too long for the government to assist their struggling sector or failing that, at least protect their pensions.

Now, we know the Conservative government can move quickly when it chooses to do so. After all, it banded together with the Liberal caucus in December to pass its federal HST bill, Bill C-62, in just four days.

I hope all members of this place will recognize the urgency of securing the pensions of hard-working Canadians and will commit to not just supporting, but fast-tracking the passage of Bill C-501 in the interests of all our constituents.

Pat BurnsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the entire country was there in spirit with our Prime Minister, to pay tribute in Stanstead to a great Canadian who had an outstanding career in the National Hockey League.

“...maybe there's a Wayne Gretzky or a Mario Lemieux or a Sidney Crosby sitting here, but what is most important, I think, is that kids will have a safe place to play.” Those are the words of Pat Burns, winner of three Jack Adams trophies, the award given every year to the best coach in the NHL. He is the only person ever to win with three different teams.

Mr. Burns—a Stanley Cup winner and coach for 14 years with the Canadiens, the Maple Leafs, the Bruins and the Devils—will have an arena named in his honour in the heart of Stanstead, a community where he has been so actively involved.

For the confidence and respect he inspires, I invite all members of this House to join me in celebrating a great Canadian, Pat Burns.

Conservative Party PlatformStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the cat is out of the bag and we now know where the Prime Minister is getting his policies from. The Prime Minister is working for the religious right lobbies.

It comes as no surprise that many aspects of the Conservatives' regressive, reformist agenda are based on the ideology of the religious right. There are many recent examples where this government's position falls into line with the positions of these groups: refusing to fund a maternal health program abroad that would include every family planning option including abortion as a last resort; removing from the immigrants' handbook the passage stating that homosexuals have rights; cutting funding to KAIROS, an agency that does work in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It is shameful that the Conservatives choose to promote the regressive agenda of the religious right, even if that—

Conservative Party PlatformStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order.

The hon. member for Wascana.

National Aboriginal Achievement AwardsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, last weekend the 17th National Aboriginal Achievement Awards were held in Regina. Every year these awards celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of Canada's first nations, Inuit and Métis people.

The 14 recipients this year are: 96-year-old William Commanda for lifetime achievement; Skawenniio Barnes, an outstanding youth; Kananginak Pootoogook; Ellen Melcosky; Tom Crane Bear; Raoul McKay; Danny Beaton; Madeleine Dion Stout; Donald Worme; Kenneth Atsenhaienton Deer; Eric Robinson; Edith Cloutier; Monica Pinette; and Doug Henry.

From the Parliament of Canada to each one of these achievers, we say congratulations. To Roberta Jamieson and her colleagues at the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, we say thanks and well done.

Canadians can watch the whole awards show on Global TV and APTN on May 1, hosted by the fantastic Andrea Menard.

The EconomyStatements by Members

March 30th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is working to protect jobs today and create the jobs of tomorrow. A large part of our recession-fighting plan is lower taxes for Canadians.

The proof is in the numbers. Canada's economy has seen job gains in five of the last seven months, and since last July, almost 160,000 new jobs have been created.

Just today Honda announced that more than 400 new jobs will be added to its workforce in Alliston, Ontario. Just last week in my hometown of Oshawa, 600 workers were informed of a new third shift to start in October.

Yet the Liberal leader wants to stop the recovery in its tracks by raising the GST, bringing back his carbon tax on everything and hiking job-killing business taxes. All Liberals talk about is what they will tax. Higher taxes and reckless spending do not create jobs and they do not encourage economic growth.

With his talk of higher taxes, the Liberal leader shows he just does not get it and that Canada just cannot afford him.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs told the House that there would be no request from the Americans to extend Canada's mission in Afghanistan. However, yesterday Hillary Clinton came to town and blew the government's cover. It is perfectly obvious the request had either been made or was just about to be made. It is perfectly obvious the government knew the request had either been made or was coming.

Why did the Conservatives mislead Canadians last week?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I really do not know what the Leader of the Opposition is talking about. The government's position could not be clearer. Whether we get asked about it this week, or last week or next week, we passed a motion in Parliament in 2008, and Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today, this very day, the Government of Canada signed a G8 pledge to “support Afghanistan on its road to peace and stability”. What, in precise terms, does that commit Canada to do after 2011?

Why will the Prime Minister not level with the Canadian people and with the House about the plans the government has for the Canadian mission in Afghanistan after 2011?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not all of the G8 members have a military mission in Afghanistan.

We have been very clear that Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011, but we will continue with a mission on governance, on development and on humanitarian assistance. We welcome the input of the opposition into those deliberations.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are more likely to hear the truth from Hillary Clinton than from this government.

The Prime Minister said it was the end of the combat mission, fine, but we do not know what, exactly, the government's plans are for the mission after 2011.

Will the Prime Minister commit to sharing his plans with Canadians and allowing a full debate and vote in this House?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have the same answer that I had last week, and it will be the same next week: Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011, in accordance with a resolution adopted by Parliament.

We plan on remaining involved in Afghanistan in terms of development, governance and humanitarian assistance. We invite the opposition to share its ideas on the future of this mission.

Arctic SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, on February 17, Liberals warned the government to include Arctic aboriginal peoples in its Arctic summit. It ignored the warning and now Canada is being embarrassed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Great Inuit leaders, such as former circumpolar ambassador Mary Simon and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier, have complained about the government's lack of engagement with Canada's Arctic peoples.

Why has the Conservative government again embarrassed us on the world stage and left us in the bizarre position of Hillary Clinton having to defend Canada's aboriginal people?

Arctic SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, as I told the House yesterday, this meeting was called for those states that share a coastline on the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Council chair, Denmark's foreign minister, will brief other members of the Arctic Council. The Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed Canada's indigenous people before the meeting and will be talking to them afterwards.