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House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Denare Beach Winter FestivalStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, recently it was my pleasure to attend the 32nd annual Denare Beach Winter Festival, which shows the true meaning of small-town northern Saskatchewan spirit. I had a wonderful time at all the activities and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with many constituents.

During the auction, I met one special constituent, Mr. Joel Olivier, a man to whom I would like to refer as the bidder. The bidder kindly raised the price of a set of binoculars I was bidding on during an auction, so I returned the bidder's favour on the next item in which he was interested: a signed Bobby Clarke print. Despite our friendly rivalry, I would like to let it be known that the bidder and I were able to enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast the next day.

I want to thank the bidder, his father Ephat Dorge, his son Ethan, and all who worked to organize this fundraiser for the Denare Beach Recreation Board. I look forward to attending the 33rd annual Denare Beach Winter Festival as this is a prime example of northern communities' pride and participation. Job well done.

Terry FoxStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, on this day 30 years ago, Terry Fox stood next to St. John's harbour about to embark on his Marathon of Hope across Canada. While his run ended prematurely in Thunder Bay, the journey he began continues to this day in Terry Fox Runs around the world. From New York City to Kuala Lumpur, from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, Terry's inspirational legacy has spawned a global movement that has raised over $500 million for cancer research.

Stride by stride, town by town, Terry's heroic run showed not only the strength of one man's will to conquer a disease, but the strength of the human spirit to inspire a nation and the global community to action. Terry once said, “I just wish people would realize that anything's possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try”.

His dream, his miracle, was to run across Canada to raise money to fight cancer. He showed us all that dreams and miracles are not only possible, but within our reach. It is up to each of us to try. For Terry, we owe nothing less than that.

Nuclear SecurityStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Washington nuclear security summit opens today. It will be attended by some 50 countries including Canada, which is being represented by the Prime Minister. Since the purpose of this meeting is to agree on ways to safeguard nuclear material that could be used to develop a nuclear bomb, it is important to question just how credible Canada actually is when it comes to nuclear security.

The non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is at the very heart of the debate at this summit. Canada recently concluded an agreement on the sale of CANDU reactors with India, a country which has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Clearly, Canada is more interested in selling its CANDU reactors than addressing security issues.

How does this Conservative government intend to defend its position, which is indefensible considering that Canada is a signatory of the non-proliferation treaty? It is indeed important to address the problem of proliferation of weapons, but it is important that the commitments made in Washington are not made hypocritically.

PolandStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the tragic event on Saturday, which saw the president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and 95 other passengers die in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia. The group had been on its way to a memorial service in remembrance of the massacre of Polish military officers by Soviet secret police 70 years ago in the Katyn forest.

Over the last century, the Polish people have suffered from a long list of tragedies, including the Nazi invasion in 1939, the deportation and murder of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto, the Katyn massacre, and the loss of independence under the Soviet Union. Adding to that list was Saturday's dreadful plane crash, which not only claimed the life of the president, but also the lives of many family members of the victims of the Katyn massacre as well as a cross-section of Poland's political, military, business and religious leadership.

It is my hope and belief that with this most recent tragedy, the strength and character of the Polish people will sustain them through the difficult days and weeks ahead as it has so many times in the past.

On behalf of my constituents, my party and all Canadians, I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Poland and the worldwide Polonia.

National Parks and Marine Conservation AreasStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to acknowledge the presence of a world-renowned environmentalist and true humanitarian, Dr. Jane Goodall.

When the Minister of the Environment met Dr. Goodall at the WILD9 convention last November, Canada and the world were celebrating the expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve. Since then, our government has continued its active work toward the permanent protection of vast expanses of water, wetland, tundra and boreal forest across Canada, from the Mealy Mountains of Labrador to Lancaster Sound in Nunavut and to Haida Gwaii on the Pacific Coast.

From the birth of Canada's first national park to 2006, Canada established a system of national parks and national marine conservation areas covering 277,000 square kilometres. Our government has protected 45,000 square kilometres and has taken action to expand that by another 40,000 square kilometres. This represents an increase of an area larger than Austria.

Welcome, Dr. Jane Goodall, to Ottawa.

The HolocaustStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1933 there were nine million Jews in Europe. Half a generation later, six million had perished in the Holocaust, others had fled for their lives, and only a few hundred thousand were left.

The incalculable loss, fathers, mothers, grandparents the children never had. Children, so full of learning, so full of possibilities, never the chance to live their lives. A next generation never born, and a next.

The incalculable loss to the Jewish people; the incalculable loss to all of us.

For us, never to forget the Jews and the Jewish people. But for us, too, never to forget how easy it is to push to one side any group of people, to separate, divide, cut off, then to demonize, hate and destroy.

The Holocaust happened then and there, but the Holocaust is a forever story for all of us.

Never again, and always to remember.

Alberta's Lieutenant Governor DesignateStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister announced that retired Colonel Donald Stewart Ethell will serve as the next Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Colonel Ethell had a distinguished 38-year career in the Canadian Forces. His duties included serving as director of peacekeeping operations at national defence headquarters and as chief of staff and deputy force commander of the multinational force and observers during the 1990-91 Persian Gulf war. He is one of Canada's most decorated soldiers as well as a champion for veterans and the welfare of those in the world's most vulnerable nations.

Colonel Ethell is Canada's most experienced peacekeeper. He was deployed on 14 peacekeeping missions, including service in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Central America and the Balkans.

Colonel Ethell is committed to issues that are important to Canada's veterans. He is a committee chair on the Veterans Affairs Canada-Canadian Forces Advisory Council. He is also the national president of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping.

I am honoured to have known Colonel Ethell as a colleague and friend, and shortly will be able to call him His Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

I know he will do all Albertans proud. I wish him and his family all the best.

Aluminum IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 15, a delegation representing the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean area will attend the Rio Tinto annual shareholders' meeting in London. This delegation, comprised of the economist Marc-Urbain Proulx, union leaders Alain Gagnon and Marc Maltais, and myself, will voice the historical claims of my region with regard to the development of the aluminum industry.

Rio Tinto currently uses clean energy drawn from a watershed whose value is increasing. However, despite the extraordinary incentives from which the company has benefited, the level of employment in aluminum production has dropped 40% in 30 years, according to the economist Marc-Urbain Proulx.

Given that the partnership between my region and Rio Tinto is not an equitable one, the delegation will ask the corporation to provide more support to the aluminum industry.

I would also like to point out that the Conférence régionale des élus will be attending this meeting for the first time.

Leader of the Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

April 12th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc leader spent last week touring the country to promote sovereignty.

His message is as simple as it is disturbing: Canada must separate from Quebec.

Unable to convince Quebeckers to separate from Canada, the Bloc leader is now saying that it is in Canada's interest to separate from Quebec.

To make sure people got his point, he even invited the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to leave Canada and become an independent country.

Clearly, the Bloc leader's priority is not the economy and jobs.

His priority is to stir up pointless old quarrels and divide a country that has never been as united as it is today.

While the Bloc leader is gallivanting about the country, we are working to stimulate the economy.

The Conservative government's solid, stable economic leadership is good for Quebeckers.

Battle of Vimy RidgeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this weekend Canadians commemorated the famous 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge. Not far up the road from Vimy is the also famous battleground of Passchendaele, the town of Ypres and Menin Gate. A memorial at that gate pays tribute to all the Commonwealth soldiers who died at Ypres, including nearly 7,000 Canadians.

Every day at this site since 1927, the local Belgian population performs a memorial ceremony to thank those who gave their lives to secure liberty. Since 1954, the bugler at this daily ceremony has most often been Mr. Antoine Verschoot. He will turn 85 this June, but still he plays his bugle daily to thank the Canadians and others who made the ultimate sacrifice for him.

Today, we in the Canadian House of Commons say our thanks to Antoine Verschoot and to his seven current fellow buglers for their endless devotion to their Canadian liberators.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, evidence that Canada's economic action plan is working continues to mount. Statistics Canada reported that almost 18,000 new jobs were created in March. That represents the sixth month of job gains in the past eight months.

Since July 2009, Canada has created almost 180,000 new jobs. The OECD has predicted Canada's economic growth will lead the G7 this year by a wide margin. Despite the good news, our recovery remains fragile. That is why our government put forward a growth and jobs budget, which will fully implement the second year of Canada's economic action plan and roll out the remaining job creating stimulus projects across the country.

Compare that to the Liberal plan for the economy: hiking job-killing business taxes, raising the GST and imposing a carbon tax. We will stick to our plan, a plan that is having a positive effect.

PensionsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to ignore the systemic pension crisis facing the country, where 1.6 million Canadians are living on less than $15,000 a year, one-third of Canadian families have no savings at all and tens of thousands of Nortel and Abitibi workers are faced with the prospect of losing the pensions they paid into their whole lives.

However, instead of taking action, the Minister of Finance is bumbling around like the cartoon character Mr. Magoo. He cannot see anything wrong because it does not fit his narrow ideological frame. Addressing the pension crisis is not rocket science. All it takes is political backbone: eliminate seniors poverty by increasing the guaranteed income supplement; work with the provinces to phase in an increase to CPP benefits; and amend the bankruptcy laws to protect unfunded pension liabilities.

The New Democrats will continue to fight for pensions and our seniors because they deserve the best of all members of the House of Commons.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked to hear the Liberal leader say that the class system was alive and well in Canada. In a recent media scrum, he called himself “a proud member of the political class”. That is unbelievable.

This is not the first time the Liberal leader has gone elitist on Canadians. During his recent spenders' conference, the Liberal leader referred to the break between his own political class and the citizens of Canada. He also referred to America as being his own country. No wonder he is calling for GST hikes, carbon taxes and job-killing business taxes.

Just who does the Liberal leader think he is? An elitist aristocrat? Does he not realize that Canada does not have a class system?

After 34 long years of being away from Canada, the Liberal leader is completely out of touch with hard-working Canadians. His claim to being a proud member of the political class proves that, yet again, the Liberal leader is just visiting.

PolandStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the unimaginable happened in Poland. The plane that crashed was carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife, parliamentarians, senators, opposition leaders, senior officials, including the central bank governor, the chief of defence staff, as well as generals of the armed forces. In all, 96 people lost their lives.

This accident is even more tragic, since this delegation was killed not far from Katyn, the same place where, in 1940, the Soviet army massacred 20,000 Polish soldiers. The Polish officials were travelling there to commemorate the 70th anniversary of this tragedy.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I offer moje kondolencje i sympatja to the people of Poland, to its diaspora and to all its politicians.

PolandStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to mourn the death of the president of Poland and the 95 other Polish leaders who died in Saturday's tragic airplane crash.

President Kaczynski was a defender of freedom, one of those courageous Poles who took a stand to put an end to half a century of repression and bring down an entire empire.

The shock of this weekend is compounded by the 70th anniversary of the massacre at Katyn, a place of infamy in Polish history, now darkened by this tragedy.

Today, everyone in the House stands in grief and solidarity with the people of Poland and with the Polish Canadian community. We honour the lives of the victims, including some of Poland's most distinguished citizens. We recall with gratitude the immense contribution made by Polish people to our life in Canada and we venerate Poland's unquenchable passion for freedom.

PolandStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Canada-Poland Parliamentary Friendship Group, I would like to express our shock and sadness at the sudden and tragic passing of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and the members of the Polish delegation who lost their lives in Saturday's plane crash.

I had the honour and privilege of accompanying First Lady Maria Kaczynska as she toured Centre Block last year. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, how delighted she was to have her photo taken with Sir Winston Churchill's portrait in your office.

We learned from her that day that her uncle had been one of the victims of the Katyn massacre. Therefore, it is especially difficult to hear of her untimely passing while en route to Russia to commemorate the lives of the 24,000 Polish prisoners of war who were brutally killed in the Katyn forest 70 years ago.

My wife, Basia, and I join with all members of the Canada-Poland Friendship Group in expressing our sincere and deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, the people of Poland and all Polish Canadians during this very sad and difficult time.

I encourage Canadians to sign one of the books of condolence at the Polish Embassy in Ottawa or through any Polish consulate.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Prime Minister fired a minister, kicked her out of caucus, called in the RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner, and Canadians still do not know why.

There are “serious allegations” surrounding the conduct of the minister, but we still do not know what they are. When will the government tell Canadians the truth?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister reported to Canadians this past Friday, allegations came forth from a third party. Those allegations were forwarded to officials at the RCMP and with the Office of the Ethics Commissioner in Ottawa.

The RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner will come to their own conclusions, as is proper on this issue.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how long will the government hide behind the Ethics Commissioner and the Mounties? This sordid tale has been going on for six weeks. It was not enough that the minister violated airport security and abused airport personnel. It was not enough that her staff impersonated the public in a letter writing campaign.

For six long weeks, the Prime Minister has got up and said that she was doing a great job and then presto, from Thursday night to Friday morning, he called in the RCMP. Why?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it will come as no surprise to the leader of the Liberal Party and leader of the official opposition that I do not share the conclusions he has just made.

When the allegations of the third party arose, our government acted both quickly and appropriately and forwarded them on to both the RCMP and to the Office of the Ethics Commissioner.

The Prime Minister has been and will continue to act appropriately in this important issue.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, once again, who is the third party referred to in the minister's reply?

These are questions that have to do with the integrity of this government.

When the Mulroney-Schreiber affair cast doubt on the integrity of the Prime Minister's Office, the Prime Minister called for a public inquiry. Today, the integrity of his office is again in question.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to be transparent in this case? Canadians are entitled to the truth, are they not?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the issue to which the Leader of the Opposition refers, as I said, is a public, well-documented issue and a public inquiry was held.

Let me be very clear. The allegations that were brought forward by a third party do not involve any minister, any MP, any senator or, for that matter, any government employee.

The Prime Minister acted expeditiously and forwarded these allegations on to the appropriate officials.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightly outraged that well-connected Conservatives are apparently meeting with questionable businessmen and claiming they have the inside track on securing government funding. These claims are made more credible by the fact that these Conservatives appear to have had privileged access to federal cabinet.

Will the government come clean on all of the dates that its ministers have met with Rahim Jaffer or his business associates since they launched their company, Green Power Generation Corporation?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, all that is insinuated by the member for Winnipeg South Centre and various reports in the media suggesting that the Prime Minister's office has opened its doors to Mr. Jaffer or his associates are absolutely without basis and are false.

Our government has worked hard, from our first piece of legislation, the Federal Accountability Act, to raise the bar on important issues surrounding the administration of public business, and we have every right to be proud of those new reforms.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, let us get specific. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is responsible for administering the $1 billion green infrastructure fund.

On September 3, 2009, the minister met with Rahim Jaffer in Ottawa. What did they discuss and were those discussions reported to the Commissioner of Lobbying, as required by law?