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House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Retirement CongratulationsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the career of Max Keeping, an exceptional journalist, who served this country and community for over 50 years, 37 of those years as the news anchor for CTV in Ottawa.

His journalism was not from 30,000 feet above; his stories were grounded, connected to everyday people.

What makes Max even more special is the dedication he has shown this community, especially kids. For Max, the world is simply a large village filled with people. Their stories, which he transmitted to us, made us care about that village.

Recently, Max stared down prostate cancer and used it as an opportunity to bring awareness and make a difference yet again.

Today, we salute Max Keeping for his contributions to journalism and to our community. We thank him for making us know and understand each other as fellow citizens even better.

Thanks Max.

VaisakhiStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, in April Vaisakhi is celebrated in Canada and in 161 countries by 30 million Sikhs. Last week, along with my colleagues, I attended an exuberant Vaisakhi parade in Vancouver.

In 1699 the 10th Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji created Khalsa and gave Sikhs a code of conduct and discipline based on equality, justice, peace, courage, honesty, community service, and the universality of brotherhood, along with a visible identity and the five Kakars.

Creation of Khalsa meant the obliteration of all creed or caste based on disparities and discriminations, and the courage to fight injustice and oppression. His teachings are for all humankind. During the last century, Canadian Sikhs have made a significant contribution to the social, cultural and economic prosperity to our great country.

I invite all members, senators and staff to join me and celebrate Vaisakhi in Parliament Hill on Thursday evening in the West Block. The very best wishes to all on the celebration of Vaisakhi.

Genie AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television on its 30th anniversary of the Genie Awards, which has served to celebrate and affirm Canada's national cinema.

During last night's Genie Awards, 21 Genies were presented, recognizing the excellence of Canadian creativity and talent in the film industry.

I would like to mention that the film Polytechnique, about the terrible massacre of 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in 1989, won eight awards. Stories like this one, which have left deep scars on us all, need to be told, and film is often the best way to tell them.

I want to congratulate the creators and actors and everyone who worked on Polytechnique, as well as all the Genie Award winners.

As Canadians from across the country tuned in to watch the 30th annual Genie Awards, we again witnessed Canada at its best.

Congratulations to all the winners and to all the nominees.

Congratulations, everyone.

Girl Guides of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the opportunity to visit with the Newmarket Unit of the Girl Guides of Canada. Guiding is alive and well in my riding and a wonderful group of young girls are learning the tenets of friends, fun and community service.

On this occasion the local guide leader had organized a career night. A number of women from careers not typically of first choice for girls came out to share their experiences one-on-one with the group. A police officer, emergency responder, home-based entrepreneur, real estate agent and myself were all invited. I never had so many thoughtful questions asked of me in the hour I was there.

As someone who regularly talks to young people in the schools to encourage young women to consider a political career, I commend the guide leader for organizing this opportunity to introduce young people to non-traditional female careers.

We should each take the time to share our life experiences with our youth. If we open the door of possibility to just one young woman, it will be a success.

Michel ChartrandStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has lost a passionate and committed man, a legendary straight talker who marked the history of the Quebec nation: Michel Chartrand.

Whether as a printer, a defender of the French language or a union organizer with the CSN and other unions who took a particular interest in injured workers, Michel Chartrand worked tirelessly for Quebec independence and social justice, two causes that he felt were closely linked. He also stood up for workers in many labour conflicts in Quebec, including the asbestos strike in Asbestos and the strike in Murdochville.

This man, who had a keen social conscience, never lost his capacity for outrage. May his exemplary life inspire us all. As he said, “Everyone should get involved in politics. In democracy, everyone has a duty to do what they can to make the world a better place.”

My Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in paying tribute to this great man. We thank Michel Chartrand, for his invaluable contribution to Quebec.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Forces members put their lives on the line for our country, and for the rights and freedoms of people around the world.

Our Conservative government has a solid and unwavering record of support for the armed forces and their families.

Yesterday our government introduced the fairness for military families act. After years of Liberal governments ignoring this important issue, our Conservative government is making sure that serving their country does not prevent Canadian Forces members from full access to parental benefits and spending quality time with their child. This is in addition to budget 2010 commitments to facilitate EI sickness benefits for the family members of soldiers killed in the line of duty.

For a change, the opposition should stop disparaging our brave men and women. Do the right thing and support this bill.

PolandStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 70 years ago in its plan to enslave Poland, the Kremlin committed a horrific crime against the Polish people.

Over 22,000 Poles, the flower of the Polish nation, officers, priests, professors, doctors, were shot and dumped into mass graves in Katyn forest.

Finally, after 70 years a proper and dignified commemoration was to take place with Polish President Kaczynski, First Lady Maria, along with 90 of Poland's top government and military officials.

Saturday morning, on the plane's approach to Katyn, tragedy struck.

We cannot make sense of the curse of Katyn. However, as a result of this tragedy, the whole world has learned of the horror, long buried and long hidden in Katyn forest.

Canada's House of Commons, Canadians, and the world stand in Solidarnosc with Polonia in their current grief and we bow our heads in Solidarnosc with the 22,000 martyrs of Katyn.

[Editor's Note: Member spoke in Polish as follows:]

Wieczny odpoczynek racz im dac Panie. Niech spoczywaja w pokoju wiecznym.

(English)

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, our priority as a government is job creation and economic growth. The Liberal Party just does not get it.

The Liberals only economic talk is about all the ways they plan to raise taxes. They talk about raising the GST. They talk about carbon taxes, and they want to impose job-killing business taxes to pay for big, expensive programs.

Even staunch Liberals, like former Paul Martin's former communications director, Scott Reid, are shaking their heads at the Liberal leader's out of touch policies. Yesterday, Reid said, “The Liberal Party is clearly not connecting to middle class Canadians, not connecting to people in terms of day to day realities...”.

This is not surprising. Canadians know what Liberals will not admit, that higher taxes kill jobs, which is why they have told us loud and clear to fully implement year two of Canada's economic action plan, and that is exactly what we will do.

Michel ChartrandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, our country has just lost an extraordinary and passionate man.

Born in Outremont in 1916, Michel Chartrand devoted his entire life to social justice.

Chartrand joined the Cistercian monastery in Oka before starting his remarkable political and labour rights career. His spirituality was always an integral part of his vision.

However, like Tommy Douglas, whom he worked with for years, he did not see the purpose of saving the soul of someone who had nothing to eat.

Together with Thérèse Casgrain, he laid the foundation, as the founding delegate, for a new party, which became the NDP in 1961.

The course of history led him to devote himself, sometimes in a sensational way, to the independence of Quebec. However, his top priority remained the people.

In 1998, at 81 years of age, he led a spirited fight against Lucien Bouchard's zero deficit. He also fought to achieve zero poverty in the world.

On behalf of all New Democrats, we salute Michel Chartrand.

Michel ChartrandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we learned of the passing of a man who left his mark on Quebec with his outspokenness and his dedication to the labour movement. Michel Chartrand passed away Monday evening at the venerable age of 93 after a full life of activism.

Michel Chartrand was born in Outremont on December 20, 1916, and described himself as an “honest and true activist who calls things as he sees them”. A talented orator, he began to catch people's attention during the Asbestos strike in the late 1940s. He was involved in the labour movement and politics, running for office at both the provincial and federal levels.

It is impossible to talk about Michel Chartrand without thinking about his abiding love for Simonne Monet-Chartrand who always staunchly supported her husband in all his causes.

Today, on behalf of my colleagues from Quebec, I want to honour the memory of a great Quebecker and I would like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences to the family of Mr. Chartrand.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to applaud the determination and courage of a woman named Marie-Hélène Dubé, a fighter who is determined to live life to the fullest.

In 2003, on her 32nd birthday, this mother of two learned that she had thyroid and lymphatic cancer. After two recurrences and treatment after treatment, she is doggedly fighting this illness. She has exhausted her 15 weeks of employment insurance sickness benefits, but she refuses to feel sorry for herself. Instead, she has decided to take on another battle: she has launched an online petition calling for employment insurance sickness benefits to be extended.

This petition has been signed by 62,766 people and I am presenting it for her in the House today.

On behalf of all of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I wish to pay tribute to her and tell her how much we admire her tenacity and unwavering determination. Our best wishes go out to her for a full—

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville.

PolandStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Kochani Polacy, as a proud Polish-Canadian, it is with shock and great sadness that I rise today in the House to offer my condolences and heartfelt sorrow for the tragic and sudden passing of President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynska and 94 of Poland's best and brightest sons and daughters, leaders of the nation, all of whom were on their way to honour those who 70 years ago were lost in the Katyn massacre.

I know President Kaczynski was an integral part of Poland's solidarity movement. He will be remembered as a man who stood fiercely to protect the principles of democracy and human rights. I pray for him and his wife and offer my sympathies to his daughters and grandchildren for this senseless tragedy.

What a sad twist of fate that the loss of Poland's best and brightest has now happened twice in a generation. These two events will be inextricably linked together forever, but I am confident that Poles, a resilient people who have overcome hardships and challenges through the partitioning of their great nation and the horrors of totalitarianism, will rise and overcome again.

May we always remember those who have died and the service they gave to Poland. May they rest in peace.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians have recently noted the Liberal leader's obsession with referring to himself as a proud member of the political class. Let us just say that we are not surprised, after all, the Liberal leader holds the hereditary title of count and admits that he is flattered when people refer to him by this title.

He also said that while living in England, when the Liberal leader was away from this country for 34 years, he found the title useful among English society. He refers to himself as a proud member of the political class. This is the House of Commons, not the House of the elite. This Chamber is green like the grass of the commons. It is not royal red.

The Liberal leader has forgotten that we are elected as commoners and represent Canadians from all walks of life. His bizarre Old World ravings about class and title demonstrate that he is totally out of touch with Canada, Canadians and life in the 21st century. It also proves that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

EthicsOral Questions

April 13th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the government did some recalibration. The Prime Minister fired a minister and called in the Mounties. Days later we still do not know why. Yesterday we heard that there were some serious allegations brought forward by a mysterious third party.

What were these allegations? What are they? Why were the Mounties called in? And, why will the government not 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 has said publicly, allegations were brought to his attention last Thursday and on Friday morning he referred those allegations to the RCMP, the relevant authority, so that it would have the opportunity to review them and take the action that it felt was necessary.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the member for Simcoe—Grey and Mr. Jaffer make quite a pair. We learned that Mr. Jaffer had use of his wife's ministerial car and use of his wife's office for lobbying purposes, all of which appears to violate the government's code and may well violate the law of the land. Through all of this, the Prime Minister did not just turn a blind eye, he praised the minister.

Would the government explain how this pair was allowed to get away with this for so long?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the allegations in question that the Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Liberal Party refers to came out in media reports just last Thursday.

I will just say this. Taxpayers work hard for their money and every tax dollar should be used wisely while on government and public business.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, can the minister stand in this House and say that the matters that are alleged to have been conducted are a good use of taxpayer money? It hardly seems to us that it is.

The former minister's husband was arrested on drug possession charges. He used the minister's limousine, driver and office to conduct lobbying activities.

Why did the Prime Minister turn a blind eye to these activities for seven months?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have seen some recent media revelations with respect to this matter.

However, I will say that taxpayer dollars should be used for official government purposes. Commercial activity should not be pursued with taxpayer dollars. It is incumbent upon all members of Parliament, all of us in this House regardless of party, to follow all the rules as set forward by the Board of Internal Economy.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to deny that Rahim Jaffer had privileged access to the Conservative cabinet. Yesterday, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities avoided telling us about other projects in which Mr. Jaffer was involved as an unregistered lobbyist, projects they discussed.

I will try again. On August 13, the ministers of Labour, National Defence and Canadian Heritage attended the same event as Mr. Jaffer in Barrie.

What did they discuss with Mr. Jaffer, and did they report the subjects of those discussions to the commissioner, as required by law?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, I can report to the House that Mr. Jaffer had no discussions with me about any of his commercial interests.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Jaffer seems to have better access to the federal cabinet than the Prime Minister. Let us keep going.

On January 27, 2009, Mr. Jaffer was at an event in Ottawa with the Minister of International Cooperation and, again, the Minister of Labour. On April 30, 2009, Mr. Jaffer was at an event with the Minister of Health and the Minister of State for Democratic Reform.

Would any of those ministers like to tell us what discussions they had with Mr. Jaffer and whether they were disclosed to the Commissioner of Lobbyists as required by law?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have strong legislation with respect to the registration of lobbyists. It was this government that established an independent lobbyist commissioner who reports to Parliament and not through the federal government.

If the member opposite has any specific allegations he would like to make about anyone, I would encourage him to bring forward specific details and forward them to the commissioner so they can be investigated independently.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a whole host of reasons could be behind the fall of the former minister for the status of women, such as: obtaining a $800,000 mortgage without a down payment; the use of her ministerial mailing privileges and driver by her husband, Rahim Jaffer; supposed ties of this couple to the underworld; or a dinner that the minister is alleged to have attended with an individual associated with organized crime.

Is this why the Prime Minister decided to relieve the former minister for the status of women of her duties and turn the case over to the RCMP? Are there other reasons besides those already uncovered by the media?