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House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was financial.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order. I see many members who are rising to ask questions, so I will give them the opportunity. The hon. member for Fort McMurray—Athabasca.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:35 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, we are eliminating duplication and unnecessary costs. There are going to be no office closures and no job losses. It is a voluntary membership. It is a competitive advantage because we are competing against the world.

I would like this regulatory office, if it happens, to actually be located in Fort McMurray, since I understand some 30% of the TSX is related directly to the oil sands.

My question to the member is this, why is the passport system not working as effectively as it could be to compete against the rest of the world, which is our competitiveness in this case?

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Madam Speaker, there was a lot in there. I appreciate the member's comment in terms of clarifying that this proposal would keep the local offices, the expertise and the infrastructure. They would be part of the national system, after they chose to.

The issue in terms of the passport system is there is still 13 different sets of laws, despite how harmonized they are, there is still 13 different sets of regulations, and there is a need for companies that are willing to invest to have 13 different sets of documents. That is in fact true. The member can talk to any company dealing with this system.

There is also more than 30% of the Canadian equity market not involved in that passport system. The province of Ontario is not participating in that system.

This is one reason why we need a national regulator to cover the entire country, to reduce overlap and duplication, attract investment, and protect Canadian investors.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Madam Speaker, we in the Liberal Party have continuously advocated for mechanisms that make for a freer flow of trade, commerce and people. One of the things that we have done is we have always been respectful of the processes that are impacted by the Constitution. That is one of the reasons why we made the first suggestion to refer this to the Supreme Court.

If the government is going along already and trying to establish the infrastructure, which as I understand it will cost some $300 million, and the Supreme Court suggests that it would be inconsistent with the Constitution, is the member's plan then to simply say that the $300 million is blown and it is not a problem? Does the member not think it would be a little bit more prudent to just simply wait until the decision comes down?

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Madam Speaker, I think a government and political parties must show leadership and choose what they decided to support.

There has been the Hockin report, a panel that was commissioned to produce a report on this, that recommended a national securities regulator. We in this party, in this government, believe that this would be in the interests of Canadians. The Bloc feels opposite. The NDP used to and now has changed its position to oppose it.

However, the Liberal Party of Canada has to decide whether it supports a national regulator, whether it would be in the interests of our country, our citizens, in terms of protecting our investments better, in terms of attracting capital better. If it believes that, then it is prudent to prepare for the day in which we can hopefully make that happen.

We referred it to the Supreme Court, a specific question, to ask whether it is within the jurisdiction of Parliament. We hope that will happen within the next 12 to 18 months. Then we will proceed with legislation if we get a positive response.

However, it is incumbent upon political parties and governments to state where they stand on important issues like this and try to move the policy ball forward in order to protect Canadian investors, and to ensure that we attract as much investment to this country as possible.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to inform you that I will be splitting my time with the charming member for Jeanne-Le Ber. I will be very happy to do that.

I am also very pleased to speak to the question of a single securities commission that is the Conservatives’ present proposal, unfortunately supported by the Liberals.

To us in Quebec, this is a very important question. It is not just a question of jobs. Since Confederation, in 1867, this has been one of our rights, under our jurisdiction. It is in the Canadian Constitution, in section 92(13), which clearly says that securities are matters assigned to the provinces.

A few seconds ago, the member for Edmonton—Leduc told us something else completely false. He said that under the passport system, there are 13 different sets of regulations, and there is no agreement. That is absolutely false. There is set of regulations for all 13. Passports are managed in one place. So these kinds of falsehoods mean that the people who are listening to us actually think that it would be a good thing to have a single office for all of Canada.

Why are they saying the passport system is not working? Perhaps because Ontario has not joined it. That might be it. However, has Ontario not joined it precisely so that it will ultimately be able to show that the passport system does not work? Then the people from that province could say that clearly it does not work, because they are not participating in it, it is not a Canada-wide system and they want to give us a Canada-wide system.

So there are a lot of falsehoods being spoken on that side. I would not want to rate the experts, who are better at this than me. Pierre Lortie, who wrote “Challenging Conventional Wisdom”, has said how well the Quebec system works, as do the other provinces’. Henri Brun says this is federal trick. Mr. Brun is a very well known constitutional expert, perhaps one of the greatest in Canada.

I would also just like to point out that someone like Jeffrey Macintosh of Toronto has said this bill might not pass muster with the Supreme Court. When someone like Mr. MacIntosh says that, we can imagine there is a significant chance that the Supreme Court will have to go back to what is in the Constitution.

When I hear the Conservatives opposite and the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Finance, who was in fact joking with the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup while my colleague was laying out the Bloc Québécois’ positions, positions that represent the ones taken by all of Quebec, I do not understand how they can look us in the face and laugh at our critic, when for 20 years we have represented a majority of Quebeckers in this House. I do not understand it.

Actually, I think the Conservatives from Quebec were elected on false representations. When the Conservative leader was not yet prime minister, he came to Quebec and made a big speech, and said: “If you vote for me in Quebec, I will respect your jurisdiction.” Everyone said yes. They are barely in office and the first thing they do is introduce a bill that very much does not respect our jurisdiction over securities.

It is amazing that the government said one thing to get elected and now totally forgets it. That could even be called misrepresentation. It said it would respect the jurisdictions of the provinces, and it should do so. When promises are made, they should be kept.

The government’s position on securities regulation is not very good at all. It is just trying to please some voters. These are the same voters the Liberals do not want to lose. That is why the Liberals are going to vote in favour of a single securities commission located in Toronto.

The government says it is absolutely necessary to harmonize all the rules and regulations in a single place. Europe is an economic union and not a cultural or social one. Yet it does not do this. It has harmonized its rules and regulations. The 13 commissions that developed the passport system are already harmonized. If they need further harmonization, I am sure that Quebec, Alberta and the other provinces would be willing to do so. It is shameful for the government to say the existing commissions are not necessary and it is going to create another one because there are no examples elsewhere. They say we are the only ones in the world who do it our way. I fail to see, then, why the European Union does not have a single securities commission. All the countries kept their own commissions. So it can work. The European Union did not try to centralize them, as the Conservative government is doing. The Conservatives are obsessed with centralization just to please certain people.

When they mandated Purdy Crawford to do a study, they could have asked him for an objective or comparative study or to examine what already exists. But no, he was clearly asked to do a study with a view toward a single system. The purpose of the study was not to examine what was done previously.

The government’s position is false and deceitful because it did not try to establish a better system. It just tried to establish a centralized system, full stop.

As long as the government wants to steer profits into Ontario, I do not see how the arguments could be any stronger. No one seems to care that we are going to lose 100,000 or 155,000 jobs. The government says we say the same thing over and over, but what else can we do? So long as it does not drop this bill, we are going to repeat ourselves again and again.

We wonder why the Conservative government does not have the wisdom to say officially that it is withdrawing the bill. It has asked the Supreme Court for an opinion. I think the honest thing to do would be to say this, but the government does not do it.

I will finish by repeating that the Quebec National Assembly—I am not talking about a sovereignist National Assembly but the one that was elected with a federalist party in power—voted unanimously on October 16, 2007 on a resolution to save these 155,000 jobs. The National Assembly told the government its bill was crap and the commission should be kept in Quebec. The National Assembly said again on May 27, 2010 that it did not want this bill.

It seems to me that we should respect the sovereignty of the National Assembly.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:50 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Madam Speaker, I listened quite intently to the member's speech. There is one thing I would point out that is really quite remarkable. The hon. member from the Bloc indicates that Europe has an economic union. Canada is not an economic union. Canada is a country. Establishing a national, not a federal, securities regulator is consistent with a nation. We are a nation. We are a country from coast to coast to coast. The member neither supports nor understands that.

This is the crux of the situation. As a G7 country, we are the only one that does not have this kind of system. Every credible witness who has come before the federal finance committee, certainly in the time I was there since 2006, has insisted it is important that we get this established. It is voluntary. That is the other thing I do not understand about the Bloc position. It is voluntary. Those members have never quite been able to square the problem they have with a voluntary system.

In the market system today, whether it is corporate investors, personal investors or banks, people have a concern of confidence. We should do everything we can within our ability to instill confidence in the system. That is what a national securities regulator would accomplish. I cannot understand why the member would not want to see more investment into Quebec and all parts of Canada.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, I was very surprised to hear the hon. member say that Canada is a nation. It seemed to me he voted that we too are a nation. Did he vote for that, yes or no? Yes, he voted for that.

So we are two nations. It is not one nation, but two. That is one of the reasons why we want to keep our securities commission in our nation, in Quebec.

Next, the example of Europe is an excellent one. Even though Europe is just an economic union, the fact is that in the end many countries easily come to an agreement on securities. We do not see why, in Canada where there are two nations, we too should not be able to agree on each of us having our securities bodies.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, the government is at war with one of its own senators on this very issue. One of its senators, representing the province of Alberta, is explaining to the public what the government is up to. At the end of the day, we will have a transfer of jobs out of Alberta. We will have a diminution of the financial services sector in Alberta.

The government cannot even get its own senators on side on this issue. How in the world does it expect to convince anyone else?

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, it is indeed a fact that their senators, as my colleague says, are not in agreement on this. Neither do they agree that membership will be voluntary.

They are not the only ones not in agreement. The Lortie report says that the alleged freedom to join or not join the future Canada-wide commission is a con job. It seems to me that something is not working here, and we have to look into that.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to call upon my colleague’s wisdom. He spoke of a con job. Across the way, they are saying that this would be voluntary.

However, when we look at their behaviour, do the people opposite not give the impression that they simply want to open the door, twist our arm, and then ignore the National Assembly? They have even forgotten the Quebec nation. Basically, this is nothing but an open door so that—

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi has the floor.

Opposition Motion—Securities RegulationBusiness of SupplyGovernment orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, I totally agree with the statement by my colleague from Hochelaga. Indeed, they are going to present this, and then they will completely withdraw, saying that, in any case, now it is organized. But we are going to be stuck with this. We are going to lose a jurisdiction we have had since 1867. They do not respect that, and they ought to, because it is in fact the basis of what they call “our two nations”.

Raymond DesRochersStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Madam Speaker, we often take inspiration from the people of our communities who stand out. It could be from their determination or courage, from their passion for community or simply from when they will not give up when all hope seems lost.

My riding lost such a person this past April. He was a champion for the francophone community of my riding and for minority language rights across the country.

Raymond DesRochers leaves his many achievements as tangible reminders of his life's work.

He was a force to be reckoned with, unstoppable, unforgettable, one of a kind.

I invite all hon. members to join me in extending our sincere condolences to his wife, Sandra, and their family. Rest assured that his charm and tenacity will continue to be an inspiration to his community for years to come. Thank you, Raymond.

Stanley CupStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, last night, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in overtime in game six. It is their first championship since 1961.

The Blackhawks are a team of young stars, none more impressive than their 22-year-old captain, Winnipeg's own Jonathan Toews. He is this year's winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs. Nicknamed Captain Serious, he is the youngest captain in the NHL and the second youngest winner of the Conn Smythe.

He has proudly represented Canada on the world stage: an all-star and gold medallist at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver; a gold medallist at the 2008 world championships; a double gold medallist at the world junior championships; and now, a Stanley Cup champion.

Jonathan Toews is the son of Winnipeg and the pride of Canada.

Journalism AwardsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to acknowledge the outstanding work of two journalists in my riding who have contributed considerably to the quality of information in the Lower St. Lawrence region.

Freelance journalist Marc Fraser from L'Horizon was awarded first prize in the “Interview/Portrait” category last May 2, at the 29th annual convention of the Association des médias écrits communautaires du Québec.

Jean-François Bouchard, who works for L'Avantage newspaper, won first prize in the “Editorial” category last May 29 at the Grands Prix des Hebdos 2010, earning him the Jean-Vigneault trophy.

I would like to congratulate all the journalists and editorial writers from my region, especially those two men, who are doing a fine job of keeping the public of Lower St. Lawrence accurately informed.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Madam Speaker, thanks to the Conservative government's economic action plan, Canada is rising out of the global recession faster and stronger than any other nation.

Under the economic action plan, Oshawa received record levels of funding for Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Don Drummond, senior vice-president and chief economist of the TD Bank, stated that these investments would separate Oshawa from the rest of Durham region in economic growth and were vital for keeping post-secondary graduates in Oshawa with high-paying and skilled jobs that focus on research.

I am happy to say that since Mr. Drummond's speech, in its ranking of 4,500 cities, towns and municipalities, Maclean's magazine named Oshawa one of Canada's smartest cities based on our opportunities for lifelong learning.

More important, since that speech, GM added a third shift in Oshawa, recalled approximately 600 workers and repaid its loans ahead of schedule.

I know I can speak for the rest of Oshawa in saying that, thanks to the Conservative government's handling of this economic crisis, the future is once again looking bright.

Education for AllStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Madam Speaker, with the start of the World Cup, I am pleased and proud to acknowledge the great collaborative efforts of the Institut de coopération pour l'éducation des adultes (ICÉA) and the Montreal Impact in developing the campaign “1 Goal: Education for All”.

Inspired by UNESCO's Global Campaign for Education, which is itself supported by FIFA, those two organizations decided to focus their efforts in Quebec in order to spread a very important message.

ICÉA and the Montreal Impact have set as their objective to remind Canadians about the ambitious target that Canada and 188 other countries promised to achieve by signing the Dakar Declaration in 2010. The target is education for all by 2015. In Quebec, 800,000 people do not know how to read or write. It is for them and for future generations that those organizations decided to take action.

I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the organizers and wish them the best of luck.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the many representatives here today from the Assembly of First Nations as part of their advocacy day. This is a day to raise awareness on issues such as first nations education and treaty and aboriginal rights.

In the Speech from the Throne in March, Canada committed itself to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government must honour this commitment. The relationship with first nations, Métis and Inuit must be based on justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, good governance and good faith.

Here in Canada, we must put education first. Aboriginal youth are the fastest growing segment of our population. They are our future and will inject billions into the economy over the next few years.

Co-operation, consultation and partnerships must be the cornerstones in resolving issues and strengthening relationships.

I salute the Assembly of First Nations on its work here today and hope all members are listening to its message.

Saint-Émile Optimist ClubStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the exceptional work that the Saint-Émile optimist club has been doing in my riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, bringing out the best in kids for the past 15 years.

Every year, the Saint-Émile optimist club organizes a youth appreciation activity to recognize the contributions of young people at school and in the community.

For four years, the club has been hosting an awards ceremony for students who improved the most over the school year.

I had the pleasure of attending the ceremony this year, at which 47 students, from grade one to six, received a certificate outlining their achievements. The students came from three primary schools in Saint-Émile: École du Beau-Séjour, École de l'Accueil and École du Vignoble.

Congratulations to Maurice Cyr and his team of volunteers on this wonderful initiative. Their work helped make this event a success. I also thank Diane Jalbert for facilitating communications.

Quebec Tourism AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again the region of Lanaudière has been honoured, this time with three awards, at the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois gala in Montreal on May 7.

The gold medal winner in the outdoor and leisure category was Arbraska Rawdon, a business that has been running forest adventure parks in Quebec and Ontario since 2002. An interesting aside: in 2009, during a year marked by a general economic downturn, the company not only maintained its number of visitors and its business figures, but it also diversified the services it offers.

The silver medal in the accommodation--camping category went to Camping La Baie in Mandeville. This company, which is open year-round, has already had a taste of success as it won in the same category in 2005.

And finally, Benjamin Vallée, who works at the l'Auberge du Lac Taureau and the Saint-Michel-des-Saints condos, won a silver medal in the human resources category for tourism leaders of tomorrow. His work resulted in four times as many international clients.

Congratulations to the award winners.

Consumer Product SafetyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian industry and environmental groups alike welcome and strongly support our new Bill C-36, the Canada consumer product safety bill.

With an average of 300 products that are subject to recall per year, there are many stakeholders who welcome the opportunity to finally have legislation that will provide the government with the needed tools to do this.

The hon. Minister of Health tabled this legislation yesterday in response to many requests from Canadians.

We have often heard stories from victims' families recounting accidents or deaths that could have been prevented had we had legislation. Our commitment is to them, as well as to all Canadians who deserve to be represented and protected from those who continue to sell unsafe products in our country.

On this side of the House, we look forward to and encourage the support of all members of the House and the Senate in getting this done as soon as possible. Canadian families deserve it.

National Holocaust MonumentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, 70 years ago, the first transports began arriving at death camps like Auschwitz, sites of the worst government-sponsored genocide in history.

A publicly funded national Holocaust monument in the national capital is one way that all Canadians can be part of honouring the Holocaust's victims.

This House, reflecting that wish, unanimously supported Bill C-442 to accomplish that and yet, at committee, the government introduced nine amendments, one for each article, signalling that it was walking away from its commitment and withdrawing its support for a publicly funded national Holocaust monument.

Instead, the Conservatives told a small segment of our population to raise the money, build the monument and then, when and if it is done, they will take ownership and credit.

However, there is no need. The Minister of Transport already has the authority and the means to direct the National Capital Commission to build this monument on behalf of all Canadians.

I ask the minister and the government to respect the will of the House and get this monument out of the political arena and onto ground where it belongs.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned recently that the Liberal leader and the NDP are preparing to form a coalition government.

This reminds us of the statement made not so long ago when the Liberals tried to form a coalition with the Bloc and the NDP. At that time, the leader of the Liberal Party said: “I'm prepared to form a coalition government and to lead that government.”

While Quebeckers and Canadians are worried about our economic recovery and about jobs, the leader of the Liberal Party cares only about himself.

The Liberals' plans are unacceptable to all Quebeckers and all Canadians. Ignoring the results of an election and bringing in a party and a leader that were rejected by voters are also unacceptable. Managing the economy with the NDP is unacceptable. It is quite simply unacceptable.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceStatements By Members

June 10th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, federal policies restricting RCMP detachments from replacing officers on leave are placing hardships on communities in the Boundary area of my riding.

According to the mayor of Midway, Randy Kappes, only one of four local officers has been on duty in the last two weeks, and local citizens are concerned that crime is increasing.

Mayor Colleen Lang of Greenwood stated that this lower level of policing is causing concern in her community and that officers on leave should have a replacement.

According to Grace McGregor, the Kootenay Boundary regional director for Christina Lake, which is a tourist-dependent community, there is a desperate need for increasing the police presence.

Once again our rural communities are being deprived of vital services. According to Staff Sergeant Jim Harrison, the detachment used to have a budget that would cover overtime hours needed during periods of extra workload, but this is no longer the case. This funding needs to be restored to ensure that rural communities have sufficient resources to provide adequate police protection.