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House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

IsraelOral Questions

Noon

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, members of Parliament, both on the government side and on the coalition side, should condemn in the strongest of terms these despicable remarks.

It was our government under the leadership of this Prime Minister that was the first in the world to cut off international aid to the Hamas regime in Gaza. It was the first to announce it would not participate in the Durban hate festival. Other countries later followed. This government was the first to march out on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the United Nations. We were the only country to stand up to an unbalanced Francophonie resolution targeting Israel.

This Prime Minister is prepared to stand for what is right, even when it means standing alone.

Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan—Quarterly Report to Parliament for the Period of January 1 to March 31, 2010Routine Proceedings

Noon

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, a report entitled “Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan—Quarterly Report to Parliament for the Period of January 1 to March 31, 2010”.

Indian Residential SchoolsRoutine Proceedings

June 11th, 2010 / noon

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to once again give honour and pay tribute, on behalf of the Government of Canada, to the tens of thousands of aboriginal children who were isolated from their families, traditions and cultures by the Indian residential school system on this the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's truly historic apology. That apology stands as one of the pivotal moments in the journey to reconciliation between aboriginals and other Canadians.

The story of the residential schools tells of an education policy gone badly wrong. However, going forward, our government is working with all willing partners to strengthen and reform education and to support student success and provide greater hope and opportunity.

Next week, I will attend the first of seven national events being held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As noted recently by Mary Simon, president of ITK:

The only way you can have reconciliation between aboriginal peoples and other Canadians is to understand each other's cultures.

This first event of the TRC, and the ones to follow, represents significant opportunities in that journey toward reconciliation. I would strongly encourage all Canadians to take part in this and other initiatives being held across our country as we move forward together on reconciliation.

To quote the Prime Minister:

The burden of this experience has been on your shoulders for far too long. The burden is properly ours as a Government, and as a country.

Thankfully the era of positive change is upon us. The federal government is working in close partnership and collaboration with first nations, Métis and Inuit to help forge a new strengthened relationship between aboriginal people and other Canadians.

On this the anniversary, the historic statement of apology to former students of Indian residential schools, we must commit ourselves anew, that in word and deed we are not simply making up for past wrongs; we are going to make sure, and we are making sure, that the future is bright for all Canadians.

Indian Residential SchoolsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour all the grandmothers and grandfathers, the young and the old, to acknowledge the pain and struggle of generations of my indigenous brothers and sisters.

I rise today to honour the apology, which thousands across our great country witnessed two years ago. We honour this occasion with openness and honesty.

While I appreciate the minister's statement today, to my ears and to many others it rings hollow.

It rings hollow because this year the government ended funding for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. It did so despite the fact that the funding provided valuable services to residential school survivors.

It rings hollow because the educational funding gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students is still an obstacle to overcoming the residential schools legacy. We, as a country, cannot afford to lose even one student in this generation, or waste any opportunity to plant the seed of education in a mind, in a community, and in a nation.

It rings hollow because the government has not kept its promise to address the issues surrounding those schools which were similar to the Indian residential schools. The Prime Minister himself made a promise to Ile-a-la Crosse in Saskatchewan. He has yet to honour those words. In Labrador former boarding school students have had to resort to a class action suit to have their voices heard and obtain justice.

It rings hollow when more than 8,000 aboriginal children are in care and the government will not listen to their pleas for more help.

It rings hollow when hundreds of aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or murdered and the outcry is little more than a whimper.

The apology was historic, it was moving, it was overdue. Unfortunately, the sincerity of the government has been in question in the days and months since. Whether through the hurtful words of a government member two years ago, or through the actions and inactions since, the words spoken in this chamber are in doubt.

The apology was significant, but it must be imbued with a true sense of reconciliation and real change.

Indian Residential SchoolsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's official apology to the 150,000 former residential school students. It is important that we all remember what happened and take the necessary steps to ensure that it never happens again. Let us not forget that the policy was designed to kill the Indian in the child. Children were made to wear European-style clothing, and their hair was cut as soon as they arrived at school. That first symbolic stage was designed to humiliate and assimilate.

Two years ago, the Bloc Québécois leader recognized that an apology was necessary. Necessary, but not sufficient. When he endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Prime Minister had an opportunity to show aboriginal peoples that he had learned from the mistakes of the past and was prepared to make a solemn promise to the victims that their children and grandchildren will be treated with respect and dignity.

Two years have since passed. Canada has not yet signed the declaration; it has merely stated that it would ratify the declaration with some restrictions and is still compromising the future of young people. Aboriginal education is still underfunded. For example, education funding was capped at 2% in 1996 despite a quickly growing population. The education funding formula, which dates back to 1988, is out of touch with reality. School infrastructure on reserve is not up to provincial standards. Thousands of young aboriginals do not have access to post-secondary education.

The government's attempts at reconciliation must begin with the unconditional ratification of the United Nations declaration and more funding for aboriginal education to ensure a better future for them.

Indian Residential SchoolsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I believe the social conditions of Canada's indigenous people are the greatest failure of a great country and it is important to acknowledge the significant role the Indian residential schools played in shaping these conditions.

Today we mark the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's apology, on behalf of all Canadians, for the lasting and damaging impact this policy had on aboriginal culture, heritage and language and for failing to protect generations of children from abuse and neglect.

The apology of June 11, 2008, was genuine and sincere, and I was proud of the government as it was delivered. However, it was also a moment that raised expectations. For an apology to have meaning and weight, it must be offered, accepted and include efforts made to remedy the offence that gave rise to the apology to the greatest extent possible.

It now falls upon us to ensure that we meet those expectations by putting meat on the bare bones of the apology of two years ago. We must commit ourselves to concrete actions so the next generation of Canadians does not have to apologize for the failure of this one to provide equal opportunity and a better quality of life to first nation, Métis and Inuit people.

Next week the healing process takes another historic step, as former students of the residential schools are invited to have their stories heard at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in Winnipeg. This will be difficult and painful and will take great strength and courage. Our best wishes and support go out to all those who participate, as both sides will surely benefit from this open and honest process.

In the words of the Prime Minister, there is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential schools to ever again prevail.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Federal Courts Act. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House, with amendments.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to the order amending schedule 2 to the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, together with a report to Parliament, “Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site”. It is my intention to seek unanimous consent of the House to concur in this report later today.

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-534, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (in-home care of relative).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to introduce legislation that was first brought to my attention by good friend, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, the former MP for Winnipeg North, who, along with her adviser, Chuck Brabazon, did all the heavy lifting to make the bill's tabling possible today.

I am proud to stand on their shoulders and sponsor this initiative through the legislative process because it will make a profoundly positive difference for the thousands of Canadians who are the primary caregivers for their spouses.

Let us look at the bill. My bill would bolster the family income of persons living with disabilities by extending the caregiver tax credit to the spouses of persons with disabilities. It is outrageous that spouses are excluded from a tax credit for which almost every conceivable relative of a person living with disabilities can apply, including a child, grandchild, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, parent or grandparent. Not included is the one person who is most likely to provide care on an ongoing basis, the spouse. That is patently unfair and undervalues the caregiving that spouses provide every day of every week of every year.

A quarter of Canadians provide informal care to a family member or friend with a serious health problem every year. More than 75% of these caregivers are women. The Canadian Caregivers Association estimates that caregivers contribute $5 billion of unpaid labour per year to the health care system, which represents an enormous savings to federal and provincial governments.

Making spouses eligible for the caregiver amount is a small step forward. It will send a strong signal that the federal government recognizes the exceptional contribution that spouses make as caregivers and provide a new support for them to help a loved one who is in need of care to live with dignity and as much independence as possible.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations and I believe you would find unanimous consent of the House to concur in the second report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development tabled earlier today.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have four petitions, three of which are from the citizens of Canada who want to draw the attention of the Government of Canada to their extreme concern with the increase in violent assaults against public transit, school bus, paratransit and intercity bus workers across Canada. Not only are these operators at risk when assaulted, but so too are the passengers who place their faith in the operator to transport them safely to their destinations.

Therefore, the petitioners request that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada amend the Criminal Code to recognize the growing incidence of violence against public transit, school bus, paratransit, intercity transit operators, affecting their safety and that of the travelling public in Canada in the same fashion that peace officers are recognized in the code.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

The next petition, Mr. Speaker, is on behalf of citizens who want the Government of Canada to support a universal declaration on animal welfare.

Given that there is scientific consensus and public acknowledgement that animals can feel pain and suffering, that over one billion people around the world rely on animals for their livelihoods and that animals are often significantly affected by natural disasters and yet are seldom considered during relief efforts and emergency planning, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to support a universal declaration on animal welfare.

Post-Doctoral FellowshipsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present two petitions today mainly from Ontario and Quebec. These are from post-doctoral students who highlight one of the real flaws of the recent budget, which was the elimination of the exemption for post-doctoral students.

The petitioners point out that this will create strong disincentives for junior researchers at the beginning of their careers and discourage the attention of highly-qualified recent Ph.D. graduates within Canada. It makes no sense at all, in their view that, while we want to encourage research and innovation and bring and keep researchers here, this exemption was taken out. It will be harmful and they think, at the very least, the government should have consulted with them and other stakeholders before it went forward with this.

Mineral Exploration AbroadPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I received a response to a petition from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The response indicates that Canada recognizes the right to participation and the right to consultation.

Some citizens in my riding and across Quebec signed a petition, because they learned from different countries that mining companies often organize botched consultations. The scheme consists of creating division among people by promising benefits to others.

In light of Bill C-2, this petition is very pertinent. Young people are worried and are calling on the government to ensure that, beforehand and with full knowledge of the facts, all exploration projects in certain countries come with a complaint and redress process, along with compensation for the victims.

Caffeinated BeveragesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today. The first is signed by dozens of Canadians and is a call against Health Canada's recent authorization of caffeine in all soft drinks. Health Canada announced on March 19, 2010 that beverage companies will now be allowed to add up to 75% of the caffeine allowed in the most highly caffeinated colas to all soft drinks.

Soft drinks have been designed for and marketed toward children for generations. Canadians already have concerns about children drinking coffee and colas, as they acknowledge that caffeine is an addictive stimulant. It is difficult enough for parents to control the amount of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other additives children consume, including caffeine from cola. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to reverse Health Canada's new rule that allows caffeine in all soft drinks and not follow the deregulation policy of the United States and other countries that would sacrifice the health of Canadian children and pregnant women.

Earthquake in ChilePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is signed by dozens of Canadians. It calls on the Canadian government to match funds personally donated by the citizens of Canada for the victims of the earthquake in Chile.

On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in southern Chile. The community has been mobilized in Canada. Fundraising has been ongoing since the earthquake, and people are asking why the government does not allow the donors to have funds matched by the government and provided to these victims.

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today. The first is from those condemning the Chinese Communist regime for organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. They call upon the government to help stop these atrocities. They urge the Chinese regime to end the prosecution of Falun Gong and to release all Falun Gong practitioners immediately. They also ask for active measures to help stop the mass killing of and organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.

Child PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is put forward by constituents and Canadians who are concerned about child pornography and victimization. They call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to stop the Internet being a medium for the distribution of child victimization.

IranPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the fraudulent Iranian election, I am pleased to table a petition, with hundreds of signatures from across Canada collected by Holy Blossom Temple, ARZA Canada, Emunah Women, and Congregation Beth Haminyan in Toronto, among others, calling upon the government to act against the Iranian regime's clear and present danger to international peace and security, and increasingly, and alarmingly, to the Iranian people.

In particular, the petitioners urge the government to combat the Iranian four-fold threat: the nuclear threat; the threat of state-sanctioned incitement to genocide; the threat of state-sponsored terrorism; and the threat of massive domestic repression. They urge the government to enact the Iran accountability act to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear arms; to hold President Ahmadinejad and Iranian leaders to account for violating the prohibition against incitement to genocide in the genocide convention; and to support Interpol arrest warrants against Iranian leaders implicated in terrorist acts against the AMIA in Argentina.

On the anniversary of this fraudulent election, we stand in solidarity with the Iranian people. We remember Neda and those like her who have lost their lives and continue to suffer at the hands of this repressive regime, and we commit to action as set forth in this petition.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.