This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was summits.

Topics

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question, but I would like to put this into some perspective. Let us look back in history at some of the large multilateral events that have taken place in Canada. The APEC in Vancouver in 1997 cost $26 million. The Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001 cost $35 million. The G8 in Kananaskis cost $190 million. This summit is the $1 billion boondoggle. The AG has said that it could cost up to $1.2 billion.

We should put it into perspective. We could have hired 23,000 police officers to do that in Canada. Does my colleague believe that this $1 billion could have been spent in a wide array of areas in Canada, including health care, which would have had a much better rate of return for our taxpayers than wasting something that is orders of magnitude larger than any other summit that has occurred in history?

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is convinced that these summits are important, but the costs should be reasonable. We would like to know what should be considered reasonable in the expenses submitted because $1.08 billion is a huge amount of money. It is 10,000 people being paid $100,000 each. I imagine they started working a long time ago and will finish well after the summit is done.

I realize that some money will be spent on things that will last. As one colleague stated earlier in the House, there are surely some things from the Olympic Games that could be reused.

To correct my colleague, I believe the cost in Quebec City was $100 million, for all forms of security. That amount provided security to 34 heads of state during the Summit of the Americas held in Quebec City.

I am wondering when the Prime Minister and the government are going to tell us that there were extra costs for all sorts of things, including incompetence, I imagine. That has a price and, in practical terms, it is more costly than competence. The government is trying to scrimp on competence, but that just drives up its budget.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Last week I wrote a note on a card to our troops in Afghanistan. I meant to say, “Keep safe and defend yourselves”. For those who found my note inappropriate, I apologize for any offence taken.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member.

Resuming debate. The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak on this particular issue. I am going to talk about what I hope is a plan that the government should adopt in terms of dealing with the challenges our world faces.

The G8 and G20 are an extraordinary opportunity for the world's most powerful leaders to help those who are least advantaged in our world. When the Prime Minister announced some months ago that he was going to make maternal and child health a cornerstone of the G8, we all applauded. Canada and the world applauded because, today, 344,000 women a year die of largely preventable or treatable causes in the most underprivileged areas of the world.

When a woman dies, the chance of her children under the age of five dying is greater than 50%. Therefore, not only is this a catastrophe for her but also for her children. Unfortunately, the government chose to open up the abortion debate and substantive challenges and solutions that could be implemented have been obscured by this debate.

Saying he is not going to open up the abortion debate is exactly what the Prime Minister did, because he chose to deprive women in other countries from having the same rights as women in Canada have, which allows them to be masters of their destiny and bodies and to be in control of their lives, something that Canadian women and men for a long time fought for.

Yet while women in Canada thankfully enjoy that right, women abroad do not, and the Prime Minister chose to put Canada in a corner, away from all other G8 countries, turning back the clock of time and saying women in developing countries would not have access to a full range of family planning options, including abortion, in the countries where it is legal.

I am not going to dwell on that. Rather, I am going to talk about a plan of action that our country can adopt to take the leadership role it should be taking at the G8 summit in order to mobilize the world's most powerful countries to help those who are least privileged.

To put this in perspective, with all respect to people who are against abortion as that is their right, many have said that we need to prevent abortion and give women rights to access counselling and social services. I have news for people. That is not what happens in big chunks of the world.

I have been to Africa 26 times and worked next to a war zone twice as a physician. What happens is that women are raped. Male family members have guns put to their heads or machetes placed across their necks and are told to rape their mothers and sisters or every person in their families will be killed. That is the choice these people have. Women are raped and get pregnant. Young women get raped and get pregnant.

A 14-year-old who is raped and gets pregnant has hips that are too small to be able to carry a child to term. As a result, if she carries that baby to term, she can die or suffers from irreparable damage to her organs, including obstetric fistula, which causes her to become a pariah because she is leaking stool and urine for the rest of her life unless it is repaired. It is a horrendous situation.

That is the reality. In those countries, there is no counselling. There are no social programs or social services. In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, up to 70% of women in some towns have been raped. That is the reality in these towns. There are no social programs or social services. There is no hope. These women have nothing.

Unless they deal with the challenges they have, they get abortions that are unsafe. As a result, 68,000 women a year die of septic abortions. What part of pro-life allows those women and half of their children under the age of five to die? There is nothing pro-life about that. It is unconscionable that we are allowing that to occur. It is a crisis occurring in the world that we can do something about. We can follow the signs and the facts and do what is right in the name of life and giving these women a chance at life.

What can we do? The fact is that 344,000 women a year die of five largely preventable causes: babies get stuck; women bleed; they suffer from sepsis; they suffer from something called eclampsia where their blood pressure rises and they can have seizures and die; and lastly, 68,000 women a year die as a result of septic abortions. Again, what can we do?

The interesting thing is if one can treat a woman for the five obstetric complications she could have, one could also treat 80% of what comes through an emergency department.

How would we do it? We do it through primary health care. We enable people to have access to trained health care workers, basic medications, diagnostics, clean water, a power source, micronutrients and proper nutrition, and a fully array of family planning options and safe abortions in those countries where it is legal. If they were enabled to have access to these things, 344,000 women's lives would be saved each year and lives of the children who die, too, when the mother dies. What a remarkable thing that would be if we took charge of that.

How would we do that? We could do that by each G8 country taking a leadership role in one of those inputs. For example, Canada could take the lead on providing access to nutrition and micronutrients. The amazing micronutrient initiative at the University of Toronto that Dr. Stanley Zlotkin championed will save millions of lives.

Every year, 88,000 women die as a result of iron-deficiency anemia. Their hemoglobin is so low that when they go into delivery they bleed a bit, which pushes them over the edge, and they die. If their hemoglobin were brought up to normal, they could have a baby without hemorrhaging to death even if they bleed somewhat. Their lives could be saved for mere pennies.

The United States could take the lead in training health care workers. The French could be the lead in providing access to family planning services and abortion services in those countries where it is legal. In this way, there would be a division of labour. Each individual country could take a leadership role in one of those inputs. That does not mean to say they would do it alone, but if each country is in charge of one thing, we could have a structure that works.

How would we roll this out? The World Food Programme, the UNHCR, UNICEF and others work in some of the most impoverished places in the world. The World Food Programme has feeding centres, which provide nutrition to those people most at risk. What do we find in those areas at risk? We find people with the highest mortality and morbidity rates.

I have met with officials of the World Food Programme who told me what we could do. We could partner with the World Food Programme and other agencies. Imagine using its feeding centres and logistical system along with primary health care services. The feeding centre would provide people with access to primary health care. The logistical system would provide a sustainable route to get the assets where needed. Instead of reinventing the wheel, this would be a smart way of doing this. We could use this to get what is needed to the people who need it the most.

How would we fund it? I have a motion in the House of Commons, calling for a global fund for maternal and child health, similar to the fund we have for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. That way, we would have a global fund and funding mechanism that could partner with other foundations and development banks in other countries to get the $15 billion needed over the next six years to save lives.

The added benefit of doing this, which is quite extraordinary, which most people don't know, is that if we can treat a pregnant woman, we can also deal with 80% of what comes through an emergency department. I am speaking of the big killers, such as gastroenteritis, pneumonia, malaria, measles, tuberculosis, and above all else, malnutrition. We could do that if we had those primary health care services in place. We have a moment in time to accomplish this.

It is interesting, though, that we have not heard about any kind of plan of action from the government, even though it has had this issue in its hands for some time. I would encourage the government to look at this and look at the partnerships we have to implement this.

Imagine if we took $1 billion of the $1.2 billion that the summit is going to cost and used it to fund this very program.

Opposition Motion—G8 and G20 SummitsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca will have 10 and a half minutes after question period to conclude his remarks.

Coptic ChristiansStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in January, extremists opened fire on Christians in Naj Hammadi, Egypt, killing seven people. It was Christmas Day for the victims, and we could hardly imagine the devastation felt by Coptic Christians around the world. We are approaching six months since this heinous event, with no convictions.

There are many Canadians of Coptic Christian heritage in Kitchener Centre. They were very grateful to our government for its swift condemnation of this act of terror.

Coptic Christians comprise 10% to 20% of Egypt's population. There are alarming reports of discrimination, mob attacks, harassment and even torture used against this community. My constituents are concerned about their loved ones and friends in Egypt.

On their behalf, I ask our government to use every possible means to promote within Egypt, Canadian values of tolerance and respect. Let us encourage Egypt to extend all protection and rights to its Christian minority. Let us offer hope to this beleaguered community.

ALS Awareness DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the City of Ottawa has today proclaimed June 1 ALS Awareness Day to recognize those living with this dreaded disease and those who are walking for them in the ALS walk on June 19, 2010.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive fatal disease. It causes paralysis of the body and slowly robs those afflicted of their ability to walk, speak, eat and breathe. Eighty per cent of those diagnosed die within two to five years, and over this very short time span, families can spend up to $130,000 for equipment and care.

There is no known cause, cure or treatment for ALS. As many in this House will remember, less than one year ago it took the life of our beloved friend and colleague, Richard Wackid.

This year, the Ottawa ALS walk will be held on June 19 at the Canadian War Museum. Participants will be walking to raise funds for family support services, equipment, and most importantly, a cure. I encourage the citizens of this city to get behind this initiative by either joining the walk or making a financial contribution.

I am sure all colleagues in the House will join me today in reminding Canadians afflicted with ALS that we are with them and that their courage is an example to us all.

Louise WarrenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Louise Warren, a poet and author, was the guest of honour at the 11th Marché de la poésie de Montréal, which concluded on Sunday. This poetry festival kicked off with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on Saint-André Street, in honour of Gaston Miron.

Louise Warren, who now resides in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, wrote Attachements. Observation d'un bibliothèque, published by Éditions de l'Hexagone this spring.

As part of the festival, Louise Warren organized an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first collection of poetry written by a Quebec woman. Fleurs sauvages, by Léonise Valois, was published in 1910 by Éditions Beauchemin. Louise Warren, who is the great-great niece of Léonise Valois, wrote an essay about her.

In her book, Attachements. Observation d'une bibliothèque, Louise Warren describes her relationships with various poets, including Fernand Ouellette, Dany Laferrière, Jean-Paul Daoust and Fabienne Courtade.

I congratulate Louise Warren on her life's work and on her unwavering commitment to promoting Quebec poetry.

Father's Day Walleye TournamentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is upon us and in Dubreuilville it means that the Father's Day Walleye Tournament is set to take place from June 18 to 20. With a tagged fish worth $10,000, this catch and release event is just one of the ways that competitive anglers can test their skill in Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing.

There are countless opportunities for visitors to wet a line throughout AMK. Stretching from Smooth Rock Falls through Hearst to Manitouwadge through Hornepayne, from Superior's eastern shore down to Manitoulin's Rainbow Country on Lake Huron with thousands of inland lakes, rivers, and streams in between, my riding boasts some of the best drive-to and fly-in fishing available.

Lodges, campgrounds, hotels and trailer parks are eager to host travellers and share the rugged and inspiring beauty of our area. Local stores, marinas and guides will help people make the most of their experience, while powwows, festivals, golf courses and local markets help round out the experience, making memories that will last a lifetime.

I invite everyone to Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing this summer to find out what riches we have in our backyard.

Skin Cancer Screening ClinicStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Conservative Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce that this evening on the Hill I will be co-hosting, along with the Canadian Dermatology Association, the fourth annual Chuck Cadman Memorial Skin Cancer Screening Clinic.

It is in memory of my late husband, Chuck, and his courageous battle with this disease. The skin cancer clinic aims to raise awareness of the need for early detection and prevention.

When found and treated early, skin cancer is highly curable.

The clinic is made possible thanks to the efforts of the doctors and organizers who are volunteering their time. Each year at the clinic, two or three cases of cancer have been diagnosed that otherwise would have gone undiscovered.

I encourage all my colleagues to make the time to come out. It could save their lives.

Aristides de Sousa MendesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with emotion that I wish to acknowledge today the 125th anniversary of the birth of Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

Sousa Mendes, a man of great courage and extraordinary integrity, deserves our admiration and respect. His acts of bravery in World War II must be remembered and honoured every year, but especially in 2010.

Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, France, delivered over 30,000 visas between June and July of 1940 to refugees fleeing the Nazi horrors overtaking Europe. Twelve thousand of those visas were granted to Jews in whose faces doors were being closed one by one.

The heroism of Sousa Mendes and the use of his consular powers lies in the fact that Salazar, the then-prime minister of Portugal, ordered him to stop, an order he ignored and which put at risk the future of his diplomatic career.

Today, in the presence of his grandson Louis-Philippe Mendes, a proud Canadian, I am very pleased to pay tribute to this great citizen of Portugal who embodied humanity and sacrificed his career to save an incalculable number of lives.

Kevin McKayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with my deepest sympathy and gratitude that I honour Private Kevin Thomas McKay for his service in the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

On May 13, the 24-year-old private was on foot patrol in the village of Nakhonay, in the Panjwaii district of Afghanistan, when a blast from an improvised explosive device took his life. It was only two days before the end of his first deployment.

Kevin grew up in Horseshoe Valley in the area of Oro-Medonte Township, where he is honoured by family and friends for his service to country and community, where his own grade eight project about the courage of Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge first inspired him to join the armed forces.

To Kevin's mother and father, Beth and Fred, and to his brother, Riley, may I join with all hon. members in conveying our thoughts and prayers, and the respect and admiration of a grateful nation.

Environment WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week we celebrate Environment Week, which has as its theme “Embracing Life on Earth”. This week provides an ideal opportunity to remind the government of its responsibilities in the fight against climate change.

At the end of the month, leaders of the industrialized world will converge on Canada to participate in the G8 and G20 summits. These meetings are another opportunity, after the failure of the Copenhagen conference negotiations, to recognize the responsibility of their respective countries for the climate crisis. Adopting and attaining specific reduction targets in line with the scientific consensus is a global issue and the main challenge of our times.

These meetings provide the Conservative government with the opportunity to show leadership in the fight against climate change, primarily with respect to adopting credible reduction targets.

We hope that, in this environment week, the Conservative government will transform words into actions. The fight against climate change must be a key part of the G8 and G20 discussions.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, today our Conservative government introduced the Eliminating Entitlements for Prisoners Act. This bill will keep prisoners, such as child killer Clifford Olson, from unfairly receiving taxpayer-funded old age benefits.

This is one more measure that our government is taking to put the interests of victims first and ensure fairness for hard-working taxpayers.

Recently, the Bloc Québécois leader shamefully stated that he believes that prisoners who have broken the law should receive these benefits. I hope that the Bloc Québécois will come to its senses, listen to Quebeckers and support this important bill.

Quebeckers know that the Conservative government alone will ensure that only the seniors who have worked hard and respected the law will receive the benefits they deserve and not prisoners.

National Hunger Awareness DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is National Hunger Awareness Day, a day we hear the statistics of those who go hungry, but statistics do not tell the story, real lives do.

Pregnant mothers who do not have enough to eat are less healthy, are more likely to give birth prematurely, and have kids who are less healthy and less strong. Less healthy, less strong kids do not develop as quickly or as well.

It is as if this is a 100 metre race and the healthier kids begin at the start line, while these kids begin 10 metres behind. To them in their world other kids somehow always seem better and smarter. They are always ahead. Kids with less to eat are sick more often, they miss more school, and they fall further behind.

This is not fair. This is not Canada.

Today, as we think about hunger and its effects on our fellow Canadians, I hope we will also reflect on how as governments, on poverty and hunger, none of us have done very well, and for all of us this remains work undone.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and EthicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the government House leader raised serious concerns about a lack of fairness and due process during committee proceedings.

The chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has a choice to make. Will he preside over a fair and impartial process that respects procedural fairness and the rules of evidence, or will he play politics and run a kangaroo court?

On Sunday we were shocked to see the committee chair talking on TV about potential rulings he had yet to make. An impartial judge would be embarrassed by such conduct.

Yesterday, the news media were informed that subpoenas had been issued before the subpoenas had even been served. No court of law would issue subpoenas by press release and no judge would place media relations ahead of procedural fairness.

Clearly, this committee chair is more interested in playing politics than in fair play. He should not be surprised then that his actions receive the respect they deserve.

Human TraffickingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I received letters from two young women from Nelson, B.C., in which they raise the issue of human trafficking in the world.

The letters, written by two sisters, Andrea and Maryn Marsland, talk about the fact that more than 27 million children and adults are trapped in modern slavery throughout the world. In fact, statistics show that an estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labour, including sexual exploitation, at any given time as a result of trafficking. The majority of trafficking victims are between the ages of 18 and 24.

Human trafficking and slavery is made possible whenever poverty and inequality deprive people of the ability to earn a living. It is a profound lack of economic power that leaves many people around the world vulnerable to exploitation by others.

It is imperative that Canada and other developed countries do more to eradicate poverty. We are currently well below the 0.7% GDP level proposed many years ago. Clearly, more needs to be done.

I applaud Maryn and Andrea Marsland for raising this issue and wish them all the very best in their pursuit of social justice in the world.

Eliminating Entitlements for PrisonersStatements By Members

June 1st, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians discovered that criminals like Clifford Olson, who brutally murdered 11 children, were receiving taxpayer-funded seniors benefits, they were outraged. I received angry emails and letters from many residents of my riding of Abbotsford.

Our government was equally outraged. The Prime Minister promised to take swift action and today our government fulfilled that promise.

We have introduced the eliminating entitlements for prisoners act. This bill puts an end to the unfair practice of prisoners receiving old age security benefits.

It is yet another way our Conservative government is ensuring fairness for hard-working taxpayers and their families. It is part of our commitment to putting victims first, something that is sadly lacking from the opposition parties.

Canadians can count on our Conservative government to ensure that only hard-working, law-abiding Canadians receive the benefits they deserve.

Municipality WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week is Municipality Week in Quebec. This year, the theme is sustainable development. The Government of Quebec launched this event in 1988 to showcase the actions and values that characterize Quebec communities.

Throughout the week, municipalities are invited to organize earth-friendly activities highlighting simple actions, such as recycling and composting, encouraging local providers to donate surplus goods to schools and organizations in their region, encouraging the use of renewable energy, reducing paper consumption, taking advantage of natural light, encouraging people to get to know their local government and highlighting social commitment.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all Quebeckers to participate in various events in their communities. Municipal governments hope that these activities will help them get in touch with the people and recognize citizens' contributions to improving community standards of living.

Duff RoblinStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to pay tribute to one of Manitoba's and Canada's great statesmen. Duff Roblin served for 18 years in the Manitoba Legislature, nine of those as Premier, and 14 years in the Senate of Canada.

In 2008, a poll of Manitobans declared Mr. Roblin “the Greatest Manitoban”, an extraordinary tribute under any circumstances, and no less extraordinary for a living politician who, over his career, inevitably took decisions that were difficult and controversial.

Of these, perhaps the best known was his early advocacy of a floodway to save Winnipeg from the ravages of the Red River. Initially mocked and derided, the floodway, or Duff's Ditch as we know it, became one of Mr. Roblin's greatest achievements. In his own mind, however, his greatest legacy was his comprehensive reform of the education system in Manitoba.

Duff Roblin was a true progressive Conservative, a man of courage, intelligence and vision. He was, before all else, a remarkable man and a truly great Canadian.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economy is leading the way and growing stronger, thanks to Canada's economic action plan.

Yesterday, Statistics Canada announced that Canada's economy grew by 6.1% in the first quarter of 2010. This represents the strongest quarterly rate of economic growth in a decade.

Highlights from the quarter showed that consumer spending is up, thanks to our tax relief for Canadian families and that business investment is up, thanks to our strong support for job creation.

Since last July our plan has helped create nearly 285,000 new jobs. Last week the OECD said that Canada's economy shines, and both the OECD and the IMF predict our economic growth will lead all G7 countries both this year and next.

While our plan is helping our country lead the way on jobs and growth, experts say the Liberal leader's tax hikes would kill almost 400,000 jobs. Simply put, Canada just cannot afford the Liberal or the NDP tax and spend approach.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada increased interest rates this morning. Canadian families need to tighten their belts, for they are already the most indebted people in the G20.

Instead of helping these families, the government wasted $1 billion on security for the G8 and G20 summits.

How can the Prime Minister explain his government's incompetence to these struggling Canadian families?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that the Bank of Canada took this measure because of Canada's strong economic growth, which has now topped 6%.

As for the costs associated with the G8 and G20 summits, of course everyone would like those costs to be lower, but we will be hosting more delegates at those summits than we did athletes at the Olympic Games. That is the reality. The risks associated with security are higher, and we are determined to protect our guests.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians still cannot understand it. The Olympic Games were nearly three weeks long. This is 72 hours. These are costing more. No one can understand it. The choices here do not make any sense: $1 billion for security; $6 billion in tax cuts for corporations that are already profitable.

How does the government explain these choices to hard-pressed Canadian families caught in the mortgage squeeze?