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House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was indian.

Topics

ArgentinaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, May 25, marks Argentina's bicentennial, the anniversary of the sequence of events that led to Argentina's independence.

I was born in Argentina and lived there before I was forced to leave the country with my family for political reasons, like so many other Argentinians. Argentina has gone through glorious times as well as more difficult days.

But today Argentina has turned a page, and I think of it as I see it now: a great nation with a rich and vibrant culture, a nation open to the world.

When we think of Argentina, the first things that come to mind are the tango, Evita, soccer, Maradona. But Argentina is also a very beautiful country that is home to a proud and determined people.

I join my colleagues in wishing Argentina and the Argentine people a happy bicentennial. And since the world cup of soccer starts in a few weeks, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Argentina the best of luck.

¡Que viva Argentina!

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today our government announced measures to enhance the safety and security of the online marketplace.

Amendments to the legislation protecting the personal information of Canadians and the reintroduction of anti-spam legislation in the House of Commons are important steps towards positioning Canada as a leader in the digital economy.

These measures will empower and better protect consumers while ensuring that Canadian businesses can continue to compete in the global online marketplace.

Our government believes Canadian shoppers should feel just as confident in the electronic marketplace as they do at the corner store.

Personal information should be no less secure when shared online than anywhere else. That is why our government is taking steps to ensure it is better protected.

With the bills being introduced today, we are working toward creating a more secure online environment for both consumers and businesses.

Memorial Cup ChampionshipStatements By Members

May 25th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I proudly stand in the House wearing a jersey that I am honoured to display in my parliamentary office, a jersey that has come to be synonymous with greatness.

It is with the pride of my entire community that I am once again afforded the opportunity to acknowledge the stunning accomplishments of the Windsor Spitfires. Just this past Sunday, the Spits secured its second consecutive Memorial Cup trophy, a feat rarely accomplished, solidifying its place as one of the greatest teams in the history of Canadian junior hockey.

After overcoming a 3-0 series deficit against the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL conference semi-finals, the Spits were dominant the rest of the way, successfully defending its 2009 Memorial Cup Championship and repeating as CHL champions.

I congratulate the excellent ownership group including Warren Rychel, Peter Dobrich and Bob Boughner who have led the club back to prominence, and of course all our dedicated players and families for their victory.

Thanks for giving us something to cheer for, and go get 'em in 2011. Go, Spits, go.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country have been speaking out against the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

It not only unfairly targets innocent hunters and farmers, but it does nothing to deal with serious gun crime in our neighbourhoods and on our streets.

One Canadian who opposes the registry is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Alberta, Alison Redford. In a letter to the member for Portage—Lisgar, Minister Redford stated, “The Government of Alberta has long opposed the long-gun registry as both an infringement on provincial jurisdiction and a waste of money; money that could have been used more effectively in other ways to combat serious and violent crime”.

Opposition MPs from all parties should listen to the minister's recommendations, take her advice, do the right thing, and vote to scrap the wasteful long gun registry. It is simply—

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Ahuntsic.

International Missing Children's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, to have a child go missing is perhaps the most tragic thing that can happen to a family. According to the RCMP, every year in Canada about 100 children go missing and are still missing a year later. This situation is unacceptable.

Some of these children are missing because they have run away or because of accidents, but many are abducted by parents or strangers.

While a tough-on-crime approach may be the most appealing, prevention is definitely more effective. That is why the Bloc Québécois wants to tackle the underlying causes of this kind of crime and give the police the tools they need to investigate, as well as bring in balanced, effective and realistic legislation. Supporting organizations that work on prevention with families and in schools is crucial.

On this International Missing Children's Day, I invite everyone to light a candle for 24 hours in order to light the way home for all missing children.

Former Prime Minister of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am sure all members of the House will want to join me in saluting a great Canadian and a master of this chamber, Jean Chrétien.

When Mr. Chrétien became prime minister in 1993, Canada was in crisis. Our economy was stalled, our finances were in deficit, and threats to our national unity loomed.

Ten years later, Jean Chrétien left Canada united, with the best public finances and the best economy in the G7. Thanks to him, we are a more equal and just society. This is a truly great record.

Today we are saluting the “little guy from Shawinigan” who served his country so well for 40 years.

Jean and Aline, welcome back to Parliament Hill. On behalf of all hon. members and all Canadians, we thank them both for everything they have done for Canada.

Committees of the HouseStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

More good news, Mr. Speaker. Today the government reaffirmed our commitment to ministerial accountability. Just because a committee can call on staff to appear before committee does not mean they ought to.

In the Canadian political system virtually all departmental activity is carried out in the name of the minister and Parliament holds him or her personally responsible for it.

A strong system where ministers are accountable and answerable to Parliament for the actions of their officials and department, including their own political staff, helps to ensure that taxpayer dollars are well spent and the public trust is not abused.

However, today, and for the second time, the opposition dismissed a minister from committee without allowing him to fully take part in the meeting. What does this prove? It proves the opposition is playing games and those members are prepared to politicize anything they think will score points, even abusing their privileges by calling ministerial staff in front of committees. The opposition is not interested in accountability or the truth. It is just interested in opportunistic grandstanding.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of a sovereign debt crisis that is spreading throughout the world and getting worse by the day. The Canadian economy remains fragile with a high unemployment rate, an unprecedented level of household debt, and a $54 billion deficit.

Rather than protecting Canada's workers, the government is borrowing money to lower taxes for corporations that are already profitable. Why?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see that the Leader of the Opposition is finally focusing on the real issue, the economy. As I have stated a number of times, the world economy remains fragile and that is why it is our focus. Our debt levels are much lower than those of other countries and our taxes are going down. That is essential in order to be competitive.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

However, Mr. Speaker, this side of the House cut taxes when we were in a surplus. Can Canadians understand why we are cutting taxes when we are in a deficit? That is the issue.

Canadian families are facing serious questions: the highest levels of personal indebtedness in the G7, high unemployment and only one in four Canadians has any kind of retirement security. On top of this, we have a $54 billion deficit. These are the economic facts of life.

Why is the government, then, borrowing money to lower taxes for corporations that are already profitable? No one can understand it.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, I congratulate the Leader of the Opposition for finally, after several months, asking a question about the economy, which is actually something Canadians care about.

Our debt levels in Canada are obviously significantly lower than the vast majority of other developed countries because of the wise management of the Minister of Finance. We are also ensuring that we come out of this recession well positioned, including having some of the lowest tax rates in the developed world. That is why we are for lowering taxes. The other side, I know, is for raising them. That is the wrong way to go.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is only one party in the House that will actually raise taxes next year, and it is sitting opposite me, $14 billion of payroll taxes.

This is a question of choices. The government is choosing to ignore the learning deficit, the care deficit, the skills shortage deficit. This is what is zapping Canadian productivity.

Instead, the government is choosing to borrow money to lower the taxes of corporations that are already profitable. I still have not heard an answer as to why.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The academic community, the G13 presidents with whom I met last week, praised this government for the steps it took on post-secondary education.

There is a fundamental difference here. The opposition wants us to raise business taxes. We want to lower them. It wants us to raise the GST. We will not do that. It wants us to impose a carbon tax to pay for Kyoto. We will not do that. It wants us to raise EI premiums to pay for a 45-day work year under EI. Those are not the positions of this government. We are for lower taxes and a strong—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for LaSalle—Émard.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that the Prime Minister refuses to tell Canadian women where he stands on the right to choose. His anonymous sources say one thing in French and another thing in English. The verbal acrobatics from Dimitri Soudas do not constitute a government commitment.

I am urging the Prime Minister to clearly state, in both official languages, that women are free to choose and that he will never allow a bill to pass that could restrict a woman's right to choose.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, this side of the House and Parliament have been very clear. We have debated the motion and we have decided on that motion. Canadians do not want a debate on that issue. In fact, at this year's G8 we will be taking actions that are cost effective and evidence-based to save the most lives of mothers and children in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can we trust them to respect a woman's right to choose, when they decided to take that right away from African women, against the advice of doctors and contrary to public opinion, and in violation of the Maputo declaration?

It is a right. What right does the Prime Minister have to take that right away from African women? Will he do away with the Conservative gag rule, as unanimously called for by the National Assembly, or will he take a right away from African women that he claims to not want to take away from Canadian women?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I already indicated, there is no intention to open up the debate on that issue. The Prime Minister has been very clear. There is no support to change Canada's current legislation. In fact, at this year's G8, we will save more lives of mothers and children in developing countries, particularly in Africa, than has happened since these MDGs were established. This is the kind of leadership that Canadians want to see in their international aid.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a report obtained under access to information, we learn that CIDA officials recommended that the Conservative government include abortion in its maternal health policy abroad. That report clearly states that access to safe abortion for women in developing countries would save lives.

By ignoring the recommendations of his own officials, did the Prime Minister not just prove that his maternal health policy is dictated by religious right lobbies?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all the case. The government's policy reflects the decisions made by this chamber. The Bloc may want to reopen the debate on abortion, but Canadians are not interested in such a debate.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can deny all he likes that he wants to reopen the debate on abortion, the fact is that he has decided, against the advice of his own officials, to restrict access to abortion for women in developing countries.

If the Prime Minister is serious, why does he not take concrete action by including abortion in his policy on maternal health, before the G8 summit?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is up to other countries to make their own decisions in this regard. Our decisions reflect the decisions made by this chamber. It is clear that Canadians, including Quebeckers, do not want a debate on abortion, and that is also the position of our government.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's entourage has expressed surprise that funding for international maternal health could lead to a debate on abortion. However, the Conservative caucus has tried to reopen the debate through back-door measures that would limit access to abortion. They refuse to admit it here, but they do not hide their intentions from anti-abortion groups.

Will the government admit that the best way to not reopen the abortion debate is to fund projects that offer freedom of choice to women in developing countries?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we understand our responsibilities as government. We have decided the issue in the House of Commons. We know Canadians do not want the debate to be opened again. We also know Canadians want to make a difference in the lives of mothers and children in developing countries. We know they want us to support cost effective, evidence-based actions that we know can prevent their deaths and save more lives of mothers and children. That is what Canadians want us to do.