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House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was products.

Topics

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows very well that Bill C-5 will give more discretionary power to the minister to repatriate Canadians who are serving sentences abroad.

The Bloc Québécois is very worried about this. We saw the Conservatives fight tooth and nail in the House to defend their former candidate and MP Rahim Jaffer, in response to the allegations of impaired driving and cocaine possession. We have to wonder whether the purpose of this bill is simply to enable Conservative MPs or anyone who has their membership card to be repatriated.

It worries me that this would give so much power to a Conservative minister. Does the member agree with me?

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the extension of these powers to the minister, when the system seems to have been working so effectively, will have to be very carefully examined at committee. If improperly used, this would create a situation that is much more dangerous.

I also agree that there seems to be a double standard. When it comes to Conservatives, if one does the crime one pays the fine, as opposed to their normal rhetoric.

Specifically on the issue of Bill C-5 and its application, the government will have to provide us with some very good reasons why these additional powers are necessary and assure us that they will not be abused in a way which is inconsistent with even its own annual report, which talks about how important these provisions currently are.

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, could the hon. member for Ajax—Pickering tell me what he thinks about criminals who serve their time in foreign jails, are released and eventually come back to Canada with no monitoring, or prisoners who are transferred to Canada, serve their time in jail, and then paroled and followed by a parole officer with limitations of what they can do and where they can go? Would that not be better for public safety than having criminals coming from foreign countries with no rules?

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member makes an important point. We have to consider that most of the crimes committed are property crimes or crimes that are usually related to things like drug addiction. If we do not deal with the base cause of why that crime was committed, as an example I mentioned earlier in my speech that more than 80% of inmates suffer a serious substance abuse problem, if we do not break that cycle of addiction, then we will have a continuous loop of addiction, victimization, incarceration and back and forth. It is almost a guaranteed cycle.

In foreign jurisdictions, in most cases, there is no opportunity to break that cycle. Therefore, we have Canadian citizens serving their sentence in a foreign jurisdiction where they will get no treatment for their substance abuse problem, no treatment for their mental health problem, should they have one, and then they will be dropped back on Canadian soil and we will be left to pick up the pieces.

Let us be clear about what those pieces will be. That individual's life will be in tatters, but there will be further victimization in all likelihood. Therefore, we create a situation that makes our communities less safe, it creates a higher likelihood of victimization and, at the end of the day, we will have to pay the price. Therefore, the cost is infinitely higher to not having that person transferred and rehabilitated.

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, there have been 1,314 applications for transfer received by international transfers unit of Correctional Service Canada from 2002 to 2007. Of those, 519 were denied by the minister, who has the right under the existing legislation to do that, on the basis of threats to public security or not a significant link to the country.

Is that not working? Why do we need then Bill C-5, which purports to be for enhancing public safety, if the minister already has that discretion and has used it? I do not know the math of 519 out of 1,314, but it is almost in half the cases.

What is wrong? “If it ain't broke”, why fix it?

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member raises an excellent point, which all members of the House need to consider.

What concerns me about many of the speeches and comments I have heard by Conservative members is their touting of the virtues of rolling back these transfers as if the objective should be to get to zero, as if we should try as hard as we possibly can to transfer nobody. Hopefully I have made the case that the cost of this, in terms of increased victimization, increased costs and more destruction of lives, makes absolutely no sense.

The only motive I can think of to change something that clearly is already working, where half of individuals are already rejected, where the minister already has adequate powers, is the ideological vent is to roll the number right down to zero and stop transferring anybody.

We will have to be very cautious with this and examine it very carefully at committee. We need to look at what the implications of these additional powers will be. If this is allowed to happen, the impact of it will be nothing but cost and pain for Canada.

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government tends to give the impression that somehow the offenders who are transferred back to Canada will be out on the street, that they will be a danger to somebody. The fact is members know they will be transferred directly to jail. They will not be a danger to the public at that point.

In the last 29 years, almost 30 years now, only 1,351 offenders have been transferred to Canada, so we are not talking about a huge number. The member indicated that we were talking about small numbers.

This is all a public relations exercise. The—

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I will have to cut the hon. member off to give the member for Ajax—Pickering about 30 seconds to respond before statements by members.

Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member makes an important point. Under the veneer of rhetoric, under the talking points and the slick spinning in commercials, there is a complete lack of substance.

I suggest that when we deal with matters as important as public safety, as important as the rehabilitation of people who have committed crimes, our first question should be this. What works and what does the evidence tell us? Then we should follow what works and what the evidence tells us instead of playing games with crime.

Wine IndustryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have travelled on many national airlines, including Air Canada, around the globe for business and pleasure.

Other national airlines promote their local wine producers exclusively, but Air Canada promotes the competitors of our Canadian wine producers. Imagine. I have written to Air Canada on this matter, but the silence is deafening as it refuses to explain this policy that disadvantages our fine Canadian wine producers.

With a passenger market of international business investors and influential decision-makers and a widely travelled clientele, why would Air Canada not support our Canadian wine industry exclusively?

Our wines have won numerous international awards, and our ice wines are the best in the world. It seems logical to me that an airline that proudly carries our nation's name and maple leaf around the world would also proudly carry exclusively our wonderful Canadian wines around the world, too.

Come on, Air Canada, we have world-class wines. Air Canada should show its pride. It should support our Canadian wine producers and help create and support Canadian jobs.

Annie PopeStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to Annie Pope of Peterview, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Annie passed away suddenly on December 16, 2009. She was 60 years of age. Annie Pope was born and raised in Peterview and played a tremendous role in the development of her community.

Throughout her life, she addressed many social and economic issues for the betterment of her community through organizations such as the Peterview Town Council, Your Strength is Our Strength Club, the Seniors Resource Centre, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council.

Annie was so proud of her latest accomplishment. She and others built the Quiet Corners Housing Complex in Peterview. She worked tirelessly with all levels of government to see that affordable housing was available to those in need.

There is no question that we have lost a great pillar of the community. Those who worked with her were touched by her spirit. Now we reflect on those memories and, more importantly, carry forward her community values and legacy.

Annie Pope was an inspirational community leader, a friend to everyone and a great Canadian. It was a pleasure knowing her.

Tourism AwardsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to point out the impressive number of awards won by tourism operators in the Drummond RCM at this year's central Quebec tourism awards. In fact, our businesses won 10 of the 16 awards.

The award recipients include: Village Québécois d'Antan for a tourist attraction with more than 100,000 visitors; Quality Suites Hotel for lodging establishments with one to three stars; Mondial des Cultures for an event with an operating budget of more than $1 million, as well as the sustainable tourism award for its green practices; Hériot golf club for outdoor and leisure activities; Spa Bioterra for a tourist attraction with fewer than 100,000 visitors; Rose Drummond for agricultural tourism and regional products; and Cabane à sucre Chez Ti-Père for tourist development in food services.

I would also like to congratulate Carmen Hamel, from the Village Québécois d'Antan, who won in the tourist supervisor category and Dominique Côté, from Quality Suites, who took home the tourism leaders of tomorrow award.

National Housing StrategyStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the honour to participate in the 2010 homelessness hunger strike relay to raise awareness about this crisis in Canada.

The relay will conclude in June with a delegation to Ottawa by train to mark the 75th anniversary of the On to Ottawa Trek, when thousands of unemployed men rode the trains to demand fair work and wages.

I collected pages and pages of messages from people who know only too well the reality of homelessness. One person wrote, “Homelessness exists because society allows it to”. Another wrote, “No homes, no life”.

Bill C-304 for a national housing strategy is currently before Parliament and is finding strong support across Canada. In Vancouver we are on the verge of losing hundreds of shelter beds because of lack of funding and lack of federal leadership. The need for a national strategy could not be more apparent.

Many MPs have heard from their constituents on this bill, and I hope those voices will be reflected with all-party support for a national housing strategy when it comes to a vote.

Moose Jaw Central CollegiateStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Central Collegiate of Moose Jaw and to inform this House, as well as all Central Collegiate alumni, about an upcoming milestone for this great institution.

Central Collegiate is the oldest operating public school facility in the province of Saskatchewan. On April 29 of this year, the collegiate will celebrate 100 years of developing our province's and our country's greatest asset, our youth. The school will be marking this day by hosting an open house and barbecue.

Then on July 8 to 11, there will be a major reunion of Central Collegiate alumni, which will attract thousands of people to the city of Moose Jaw. I encourage all alumni to take part in these activities.

I congratulate Moose Jaw's Central Collegiate for 100 years of excellence and ask my colleagues to join me as we wish it 100 more years.

Quebec Entrepreneurship CompetitionStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, during the awards gala for the south-west Montreal Island division of the Concours québécois en entrepreneuriat, two organizations from my riding, LaSalle—Émard, were awarded prizes.

The Bistro Monk cooperative won the social economy prize, and the Crepeblin Inc. factory won first prize in the bio-food category.

This gala has been a fixture in our community for 19 years. In that time, it has helped stimulate and encourage entrepreneurship and new business development.

I am therefore very proud and excited to congratulate Bistro Monk and its board of directors, Patrick Martineau, Suzie Boulanger, Lucie Martineau and Martin Martineau, as well as Crepeblin Inc. and its owners, Irina Malyavina and Viktoria Koulia.

On behalf of the people of LaSalle—Émard, I wish them every success in the coming years.

Citizenship CeremoniesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow I have one of the greatest honours possible, the swearing-in ceremony of 52 new Canadian citizens in Edmonton.

Throughout the year I attend numerous citizenship ceremonies in my riding and congratulate new Canadians as they, and I along with them, repeat the oath of citizenship to express our commitment to Canada. It is an oath that I do not take lightly. I am proud to serve my country, both when I was a member of the Canadian Air Force and now as a member of Parliament.

As well, tomorrow is Law Day in Alberta. It is the 28th year that the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Law Foundation and Law Society of Alberta have organized activities. Law Day provides an opportunity for Albertans to learn about their legal system and the role the law plays in our country. Our new Canadians will get to participate directly after their ceremony.

I and the 52 new Canadians know that our country is the best place in the world to live. That is why Canadian citizenship is so highly valued by so many who seek to build a better life here.

The Aeneid in AfricaStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, L'Énéide, directed by Quebec playwright Olivier Kemeid, will be presented as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in October. This version of The Aeneid has received acclaim beyond Quebec's borders since it was created in 2007. In August, Olivier Kemeid will visit Africa for the first time, and he believes that the refugee camps in the Congo are filled with people like Aeneas.

Aeneas's sad fate is that he must flee to survive, running through the streets carrying his father on his shoulders and holding his child by the hand. This story of Aeneas, who is portrayed as a boat person condemned to wander to find a land for his son, is a modern-day version of The Aeneid, an epic poem written by Virgil between 29 and 19 B.C.

Once again, one of Quebec's creative minds will make a name for himself abroad with his huge talent. We wish L'Énéide by Olivier Kemeid a long run and every success during the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sealing IndustryStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to signal hope for an important shift in international public opinion on the merits of the EU ban on Canadian seal products. This week, the influential British publication The Economist perfectly summarized the nature of this conflict.

The Canadian government clearly takes the issue seriously....

The Canadian government, for its part, feels duty bound to protect the interests of a number of its poorer citizens against lobbying from special interest groups a long way away.

The evidence that the EU takes the issue seriously, however, is harder to find. The ban appears to be a cheap way to be seen to be doing something to protect animals, thus appeasing the animal welfare lobby by attacking a group of people who cannot fight back.

I can assure this House that our government will not waver in our commitment to protect vulnerable Canadian sealers from the well-funded misinformation campaigns of professional anti-seal-hunt lobby groups. We applaud The Economist for speaking the truth on this most important issue.

Holocaust Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year's national Holocaust Remembrance Day takes place at a historic moment of remembrance and reminder.

This year is the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the surviving remnants of planet Auschwitz, the most horrific laboratory of mass murder in history. It is the 65th anniversary of the emergence of the United Nations from the ashes of the Holocaust, reminding us, as Kofi Annan put it, that “a United Nations that fails to be at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism denies its history and undermines its future”. It is the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg race laws, reminding us of the dangers of state-sanctioned cultures of hate, of incitement and of indifference and silence in the face of radical evil. And it is the 65th anniversary of the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg, this Saint-Just of the nations, who showed that one person could confront evil, resist and prevail, and thereby transform history.

Let us pledge that never again will we be indifferent to incitement and hate, that never again will we be silent in the face of radical evil, that never again will we indulge racism and anti-Semitism, and that never again will we ignore mass atrocity and impunity. Jamais plus.

Small BusinessStatements By Members

April 16th, 2010 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Conservative Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government understands that small businesses are the backbone of Canada's economy. That is why we lowered their taxes, reduced their paper burden, increased their lifetime capital gains exemption and much more.

Today, we are building on that strong record. Small businesses are concerned about rising credit and debit card costs, costs they would have to pass on to the consumers. That is why we are introducing a code of conduct to protect small businesses from this unfair practice of credit card and debit card companies.

The code will increase transparency, give small businesses a choice in the cards they accept and much more. It is precisely what small businesses asked for and we delivered.

PovertyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, to its credit, the Hamilton Spectator is currently running a 10-part series on poverty called “Code Red”, written by award-winning reporter Steve Buist. According to the statistics, the level of poverty that exists in parts of Hamilton is what one might expect in third world countries.

With a groundbreaking health mapping project, the research shows there is a 21-year gap in life expectancy between wealthy and poor neighbourhoods within the city. This represents the loss of an entire generation. However, no MPs should think their ridings are immune. Similar situations exist in communities from coast to coast to coast. The “Code Red” series has revealed that, more than anything else, social determinants of health, such as education, housing, social supports and income do affect overall health.

No Hamiltonian enjoys seeing our community reflected this way, but we need to face the truth. The truth is that, until we have a federal government with the political will to provide national leadership to eradicate poverty, the whole truth is that this is a code red for Canada.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past year, we have seen the leader of the Liberal Party flip flop repeatedly. He has changed his mind a number of times on a number of things. But the opposition leader has never changed his mind about wanting to increase taxes.

Quebeckers and Canadians are well aware of the consequences of tax hikes. They kill jobs and hinder economic recovery.

Once again, the leader of the Liberal Party is proving that he is not interested in Quebeckers and Canadians.

The leader of the Liberal Party only thinks of himself, but our government understands the priorities of Quebeckers and Canadians and is working to stimulate the economy. Quebeckers and Canadians can benefit from the strong and steady economic leadership that our Conservative government has to offer.

Federal Spending PowerStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, another broken promise has been added to the Conservative government's list: limiting the federal spending pseudo-power. This is further proof that, for the government, recognition of the Quebec nation is nothing but an empty gesture.

To date, Ottawa has meddled in all of Quebec's exclusive jurisdictions. In fiscal 2008-09 alone, more than $60 billion was spent in areas under Quebec's and the provinces' jurisdiction.

For that reason the Bloc Québécois introduced a bill to eliminate the presumed federal power to spend in Quebec's jurisdictions that would give Quebec the automatic and unconditional right to opt out with full compensation.

If this Conservative government was truly serious when it says it recognizes the Quebec nation, it would stop meddling in our jurisdictions and support this bill.

Canadian Charter of Rights and FreedomsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I proudly rise as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada to celebrate one of our great achievements. Tomorrow, April 17, marks the 25th anniversary of the enactment of section 15, the equality section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This section states:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

We have come a long way since section 15 was enacted, but we still have far to go. Fortunately, we have organizations like the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund that works to ensure that the law guarantees substantive equality for all women in Canada. Everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the law.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is time to update the list of tax increases supported by the Liberal leader and his party.

Earlier this week, the Liberal Party voted in favour of creating a levy on digital music devices, also known as the iPod tax. This is on top of a recent pledge to hike job-killing business taxes, a move businesses have said will immediately stop Canada's steady job creation.

Also on the Liberal tax hike list is a plan to raise the GST and, of course, no one can forget the Liberal leader's boasts that he was the first to tout a carbon tax on everything. No wonder the Liberal leader calls himself a tax and spend Liberal.

The Liberal leader needs to tax more so he can spend more. He is already on the record promising billions of dollars in unaffordable and reckless spending. Higher taxes and reckless spending do not create jobs, nor do they promote economic growth.

Simply put, Canadians just cannot afford the Liberal leader's tax and spend agenda.