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House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libraries.

Topics

Opposition Motion--Oil and Gas IndustryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, due to some of the statements by the opposition, many Canadians have been led to believe that there is a full-blown drilling process going on offshore in the far north. That is simply not the truth. In view of the misleading statements made by the opposition in the past few weeks, I think it would be appropriate for the minister to stand and specifically deal with that question and assure Canadians that there is absolutely no drilling going on offshore in the far north.

Opposition Motion--Oil and Gas IndustryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.

No licence or authorization has been granted for drilling in arctic waters or the Beaufort Sea. That is the current situation. If ever projects were to be undertaken, nothing would happen for at least the next five years. That gives us the time to conduct, in partnership with the National Energy Board, an extensive study as well as consultations in order to advance our understanding and improve the situation. Our aim is to protect the environment. That is what everyone here wants and that is what we are focused on.

Parliamentary Fitness InitiativeStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians must harness the momentum we achieved in our spectacular year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Representing the riding where many of the games took place, I am honoured to work with MPs and senators from all parties to promote the 2010 parliamentary fitness initiative which encourages fitness and health for all Canadians.

On a personal basis, I will be raising money for our athletes by running the five kilometre race with my family this Saturday on national race weekend in Ottawa. Team Weston, which includes my wife, Donna, and my three children, Shane, Jake, and Mei Mei, who are here on the Hill today, will all participate in this event.

Canadian Athletes Now is one registered charity that facilitate the fundraising. This charity has, since 1997, raised over $11 million to support hundreds of Canadian athletes achieve the dream to compete on the international stage. Together, Team Weston, people of the riding I represent and all Canadians support our heroic Olympic and Paralympic athletes as wonderful role models.

UkraineStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's 1.2 million strong Ukrainian Canadian diaspora community is in angst due to recent attempts to muzzle Ukraine's media, and trumped up criminal charges against opposition leaders.

Incredibly, secret service agents have even attempted to intimidate university rectors. On May 18, Father Borys Gudziak, the rector of the renowned Ukrainian Catholic University, received a call on his cell phone from a secret security agent. Twenty minutes later the agent was in the rector's office. What followed was an hour of attempts to co-opt and intimidate the rector into spying on student activists and to rat out the names of student protest organizers.

Not since the days of the Soviet Union has the Ukrainian Catholic Church, its institutions, priests and students been menaced in this way.

Canada has a special relationship with Ukraine and has stood shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine's people on their journey toward statehood and democracy.

Today we do so again with Ukraine's students, journalists and all those who have dedicated themselves to a free and independent Ukraine.

La FrancophonieStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the first time this June, the Université du Québec en Outaouais, the UQO, will offer an innovative program called Université d'été sur la francophonie des Amériques. Working with the Université Laval, the UQO will offer the second part of this summer university course. This event is the fruit of collaboration with the UQO's Senghor chair and the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques.

The first edition of the summer program will bring together some 15 experts, including Graham Fraser, the Commissioner of Official Languages, Benoît Pelletier, former Quebec MP, Barry Ancelet of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Virgil Benoît of the University of North Dakota, and representatives from Mexico, Maine, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. They will share their knowledge and discuss la Francophonie in the Americas. This will be the first time these researchers will come together in one place to talk about the French fact.

I am sure that this event will be a great success and I salute this excellent initiative.

Intergenerational Memoir ProjectStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring this House's attention to a unique school project created by Ms. Camille Dupuis and her colleague at Lasalle Secondary School.

Created in 2008, the intergenerational memoir project pairs a senior with two students who help record the senior's life story over a period of several months. At the conclusion, the students present the senior with a scrapbook of the senior's life.

I can attest personally to the fantastic work of these students, because two of them, Alexandra Burgess and Alyssa Sabourin, worked closely with my father, Conrad Gravelle, to produce his scrapbook.

What a brilliant project. Students gain empathy toward their elders while learning about their contributions to their community. Seniors get the company they need and the valuable opportunity to record their story.

I commend Ms. Dupuis and the students who have participated over the past three years, as well as the school and the school board for their support of this project.

I hope that other schools introduce the intergenerational memoir project to their students.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

May 28th, 2010 / 11 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the accomplishments of an extraordinary constituent. Betty Thompson recently won a Partners in Excellence Award for her volunteer efforts at the Dryden Regional Health Centre.

This award recognizes individuals who are committed to the hospital's values and perform outstanding actions that enhance the patients' experience. Betty started volunteering in 2004. She first spent four hours a week as a front desk greeter and happily took on increasing responsibilities to the point that she now contributes more than 60 hours per month.

Last year Betty completed the Ontario superhost certification by participating in a workshop that aims to build the skills and techniques needed to achieve service excellence.

Volunteers make the difference for many organizations. I know patients appreciate her commitment and dedication.

According to her nominator, Betty treats everyone with a smile, a helpful hand and an extra special touch. Betty is yet another constituent who puts the great in the great Kenora riding.

PensionsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was on this day in 1927 that Liberal Prime Minister Sir William Lyon Mackenzie King approved the old age pension plan. In that historic step, Liberals enacted Canada's first major public welfare legislation, extending income benefits to needy seniors.

Sadly, the Conservatives opposed the move even then. Then in 1963, when Liberal Prime Minister Lester Pearson began working on the Canada pension plan, the Conservatives again stood firmly in opposition to the idea of retirement income security for working Canadians.

The Conservative Party clearly has a long history of opposing improvements to Canada's pension structures. The Conservatives opposed the Liberal old age pension. They opposed the Liberal idea of the Canada pension plan and today they continue to stand in the way of real pension security.

When will the Prime Minister set aside his party's shameful history on pensions and admit that the Conservatives' approach of more talk and less action is a barrier to real pension reform?

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, every so often members from all parties come together with little fanfare and do the right thing for the people they serve. This week's human resources committee is one such example.

The committee is studying the fairness for military families act, inspired by Major Duquette, who brought the idea to my attention some months ago. He was trying to correct an injustice in the EI system, which denies military families benefits for which they paid and gives criminals better treatment than soldiers.

Major Duquette testified before the committee by teleconference, and his wife testified here in Ottawa in person. It was great to see them connect for the first time in months. Their faces lit up when that screen came on.

After the testimony was done, the committee unanimously passed the bill, which shows that when we come together to serve soldiers, their families and all constituents, we can do the right thing and get things done.

Amnesty InternationalStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, Amnesty International is concerned. It describes the deterioration in the federal government's support for basic rights and democracy as flagrant.

In addition, in a report released yesterday, Amnesty condemns the government's lack of protection of human rights in Canada, including aboriginal rights, when issuing licences for mining, logging and petroleum and other resource extraction. Amnesty also considers that Canada's failure to ratify the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is indefensible and criticizes the government's inaction on violence against aboriginal women.

But Amnesty's criticisms do not stop there: recalling the testimony of Richard Colvin, the organization expresses concern about the fate of Afghan detainees. It also points out that child soldier Omar Khadr is the only westerner still being held in Guantanamo.

If it wants to stop being an international laughingstock, the federal government must regain its credibility on the issue of human rights.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader's announcement that his MPs will be whipped on the long gun registry vote did not just affect the eight MPs who previously voted to abolish the costly gun registry. In my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, it also drove away a prospective Liberal candidate, Brent Bush. He said the Liberal leader has:

reversed his position and stated that third reading of the Bill will now be a whipped (or forced) Party vote.

He continued:

Forcing a sitting MP or prospective candidate to vote the Party position on an issue, knowing in advance that it runs contrary to the interests of the constituents in the Riding clearly runs contrary to the principles of representative democracy.

The Liberals' definition of getting tough on crime is to punish farmers and duck hunters. These eight Liberal MPs need to do the right thing and vote to scrap the long gun registry, or vote to keep it—

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Hull—Aylmer.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Quebec's public safety minister came to Ottawa to ask the Conservatives and the New Democrats to save the registry.

In seven years, the registry has saved 2,100 lives. Do the NDP and the Conservatives think $4 million is too steep a price to save 300 lives every year? We are talking about $400 million compared to $1 billion they are going to spend on three days of security at the G8 and the G20.

This billion dollar Conservative waste of money would fund the registry until 2260.

A billion dollars is being spent because of the Prime Minister's incompetence, but they cannot save 300 Canadian lives a year for the next 250 years. That would be 75,000 lives saved in all.

Yes, the $1 billion spent on three days' security at the summits would pay for the registry for the next 250 years. That $1 billion would save 75,000 Canadian lives.

Quebec's public safety minister said it: the Conservatives' message on law and order is completely inconsistent with their policies.

TaxationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, a University of Calgary study has confirmed what we have known all along: the Liberal plan to raise taxes will kill jobs. The study points out that the Liberal plan is ill advised and will undermine Canada's fiscal competitiveness compared to other OECD countries.

Our government knows that lower taxes create jobs and stimulate economic growth. That is why tax breaks are a key component of Canada's economic action plan, which has resulted in the net job creation of 285,000 new jobs since July 2009.

With our economic recovery still fragile, the Liberals want to raise taxes and kill thousands and thousands of jobs.

The fact that the Liberal leader wants to increase corporate taxes, hike the GST and create a carbon tax is just further proof that he does not care about Canadians. He is thinking only about himself.

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I joined with steelworkers from Port Colborne and many others in a rally on Parliament Hill, calling on the government to end foreign takeovers that destroy Canadian jobs in the name of foreign profits.

The painful consequences of such deals are all too real for my constituents. Vale Inco workers have been off the job for 11 months. They and their families have suffered serious hardships as they fight for a fair deal they need and the respect they deserve.

Yesterday, Vale Inco finally agreed to resume negotiations in June, using a provincial mediator. While this is good news, Vale Inco is still trying to leave some workers out in the cold. Employees discharged while on strike have been told they will never work for the company again. This shameful behaviour is possible because the current government failed to protect workers and our economy when it allowed this foreign takeover. And the Conservatives still refuse to step in and push Vale Inco to negotiate in good faith. Canadians deserve better.

I call on Vale Inco to negotiate a fair deal for all workers, including discharged employees, and I call on the Conservatives to finally stand up for Canadian workers and their families.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, good news bears repeating. I am pleased to inform this House that on Wednesday, Bill C-13, the fairness for military families act, passed through committee with unanimous support.

This bill would ensure that Canadian Forces members who so proudly serve our country would no longer be prevented from spending quality time with their new children when they return from duty.

Major Duquette, who originally brought this issue to the attention of the member for Nepean—Carleton, appeared via teleconference from Kabul, Afghanistan, and his wife, Anne, appeared in person. Major Duquette stated that having this bill pass would be the greatest accomplishment of his proud military career, because it would have a lasting impact on the lives of military families.

I urge all parties to help ensure the swift passage of this bill so that military families can get access to these benefits they so richly deserve.

Maternal HealthStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for Status of Women and the Minister of International Cooperation have repeated all week that it is important to save the lives of women and children who are dying because of a lack of health care in developing countries. Yes, of course it is.

However, on this International Day of Action for Women's Health, are these ministers aware that by failing to fund access to abortion for women in developing countries, they are allowing more than 70,000 women to die every year for lack of access to this service? Does this government not have any compassion for these women who are dying because of an excess of dogmatism.

The Conservatives claim that they do not wish to reopen the abortion debate. However, backbenchers are at complete liberty to introduce bills limiting access to abortion, with the obvious approval of a Prime Minister who is obsessed with controlling everything.

The Conservatives must listen to what Quebeckers and Canadians are telling them and fund access to abortion in developing countries, while maintaining this service—

Maternal HealthStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Ottawa South.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the public safety committee on Wednesday, the member for Saint Boniface launched a disgraceful, baseless attack against Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.

She said: “There were officers who did suffer consequence at the hands of chiefs, like Mr. Blair, who did transfer them out when they spoke out against [the gun registry]. That is why they are silenced today and are afraid to come forward”.

It is a shameful smear of Chief Blair, who has worked for 33 years in nearly every policing function in some of this country's toughest neighbourhoods.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police says the gun registry keeps our communities safe. The Canadian Police Association says the same, joined by the RCMP, pediatricians, physicians, victims and labour and women's groups. Ontario's attorney general says that support for the gun registry is unprecedented.

The government should be standing with police instead of smearing them. They should stand with victims, stand with doctors and save lives by saving the gun registry.

The member should apologize for her appalling and unjustifiable attack. It is conduct unbecoming of a member of Parliament.

TaxationStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday experts confirmed what we have known all along. The Liberal leader's plan to raise taxes will kill jobs. In fact, a University of Calgary study says that the Liberal tax hikes would lead directly to 233,000 lost jobs. It calls the Liberal leader's plan “seriously misguided” and one that would put Canada at a “disadvantage among OECD countries”.

Earlier this year another independent study said that the Liberal leader's GST hike would cost Canada 162,000 jobs.

Our government knows that lower taxes create jobs and fuel economic growth. That is why lower taxes have been part of Canada's economic action plan, a plan that has created some 285,000 net new jobs since last July. At a time when our economic recovery is fragile, the Liberal leader's tax hikes would kill almost 400,000 jobs.

Calling for tax hikes that would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs shows yet again that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government invoked 9/11 to try to justify spending 300% more than any summit ever held in history.

Since 9/11 there have been 11 summits, including one in London, England which just last year was able to hold its summit for 5,000% less. It did it for $1 billion cheaper. Using the word “security” is not a get out of jail free card. One cannot use it to avoid accountability.

How did the government allow this summit to become far and away the most expensive meeting ever held anywhere in history?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, since the tragic events of 9/11, increased security has unfortunately become a fact of life. Security costs money. We are hosting two international events back to back, which is unprecedented.

All the costs have been budgeted for and are on target. As we have seen with the Ottawa fire bombing and the damages in Toronto last night, events like the G8 and G20 meetings attract thugs and other fringe elements that are desperate for attention. Canada, as host to the G8 and G20 meetings, has to be prepared to respond to any possible situation or threat to our guests, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only thing unprecedented is the cost. I said that there were 11 summits, all of them incredibly cheaper. In fact, London was 5,000% cheaper, just last year.

Clearly, the government does not get it. We are in a recession. Thousands of Canadians do not have jobs. The Conservatives have run up the biggest deficit in Canadian history. We cannot afford a $1 billion binge for 72 hours of meetings.

Now the public safety minister says that the costs are “very expensive” and asks whether “these types of meetings necessary”.

Why on earth did he not ask any questions before he signed off on $1 billion?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked last week by the fire bombing of a Royal Bank in Ottawa and by the damages last night in Toronto, prime examples of why we need to be prepared to face thugs who would threaten our safety.

We are on track to host safe and secure G8 and G20 summits. Our security plan has been developed and costed by Canada's best experts in the field. It is budgeted money. We are honoured to host the world's most influential leaders at the summits this June.

Unlike the Liberal leader, who has said that he is ashamed of Canada, we are proud and ready to showcase Canada on the world stage.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the issue is not security; it is incompetence and mismanagement.

The government says that it cannot afford improved EI benefits for breast cancer survivors. It tells police and firefighters that there is no money for the families of those who have died in the line of duty. It tells those who have lost their jobs in this recession that it does not have the budget to help, but it has $1 billion to spend on the most expensive 72 hours of meetings ever held.

Will the government just admit that its mismanagement, its poor planning, and its attempt to stick these meetings in a cabinet minister's riding have stolen $1 billion away from priorities that Canadians care about?