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House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Day of ConscienceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, for 21 days, beginning on June 17, 1940, Portugal's consul general in the French city of Bordeaux issued visas to over 30,000 refugees fleeing the Nazis, in defiance of his own government's orders and at great personal sacrifice. His courage and commitment to conscience saved those who would have otherwise perished and gave life to their descendants who today live in all corners of the world.

When asked about his decision, he would answer, “I would rather stand with God against man than stand with man against God”. In Israel, Aristides de Sousa Mendes is known by the revered title, “Righteous Gentile”.

The same courage and commitment was shown by the Brazilian diplomat Luiz Martins de Sousa Dantas.

I encourage all parliamentarians to recognize this devotion to conscience by supporting my motion to designate June 17 each year a day of conscience, consistent with the international efforts of Joao Crisostomo.

Denise TremblayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale has given the Colette-Breton award to Denise Tremblay, the general director of La Séjournelle women's shelter in Shawinigan, for her extraordinary contribution in the area of domestic violence. Ms. Tremblay is an exceptional woman who has been the director of La Séjournelle for 26 years, and decided to dedicate her life to women's issues, at both the regional and national level.

This forward-thinking and visionary woman initiated a pilot project called Carrefour Sécurité en violence conjugale. Convinced that shelters could not single-handedly ensure the safety of all women who are victims of domestic violence, she proposed partnerships within the legal system, which has brought about significant advances in preventing assault and homicide. Now that is what I call a real model for effective crime prevention.

Congratulations, Ms. Tremblay we thank her for her willingness to give women an empowering experience that gives them the confidence to use their collective strength to change the world and make things better for all human beings.

On to Ottawa TrekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the 75th anniversary of the historic “On to Ottawa Trek”, I am proud to welcome eight modern day homelessness trekkers from my riding of Vancouver East, who are here in Ottawa.

Am Johal, Diana Hart, Al Mitchell, Georges Maltais, Shawn Millar, David Murray, John Richardson and Garvin Snider left Vancouver on June 6 to re-enact the 1935 workers' protest against poor wages and abysmal working conditions in government camps during the Great Depression.

This wonderful group is also marking the end of the 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay, which I was honoured to participate in.

These groups and over 50 major Canadian organizations are calling on the government to support a national housing strategy and to vote yes to Bill C-304.

Elder AbuseStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. As Canada's population is aging, the needs and interests of older people's safety and security are becoming increasingly important.

The issue of elder abuse is no exception. Elder abuse can take many forms. Many seniors do not report abuse, because they feel isolated or are afraid to speak out. As a result, the problem of elder abuse remains largely hidden.

The government has recognized the importance of this serious issue and has been working to raise awareness of elder abuse. In 2008, we introduced the federal elder abuse initiative, which invested $13 million over three years to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse.

I am proud to say that our government fully understands that this is a complex problem that requires us to work together. Combating elder abuse requires all of us to do our part to raise awareness of this serious issue.

Brain Injury AwarenessStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, last month, I tabled a motion to officially recognize June as Brain Injury Awareness Month.

I stand today to draw attention to Canadians who sustain cerebral concussions because they do not wear CSA-approved helmets when engaged in recreational activities where there is risk of head trauma.

Acquired brain injury is a silent epidemic. In Canada it is the number one killer and cause of disability of persons under the age of 44. There is new research linking repeated brain injury to Alzheimer's. The social, economic and emotional consequences of brain injury are devastating not only to the survivors but to their families. They may seem physically untouched, but can lose cognitive abilities and intellectual potential.

Currently, a young man, Brad Cownden, is cycling alone across Canada to raise awareness of acquired brain injury. I urge the government to amend the Hazardous Products Act to add CSA-approved helmets for ski and snow sports. All it takes is a stroke of the pen.

General Sir Arthur Currie Memorial ProjectStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate one of Canada's greatest heroes, General Sir Arthur Currie. General Currie was the first Canadian to command the Canadian Corps, which he commanded to victory during the last year of World War I, including the battle of Vimy Ridge, which is said to have defined Canada as a nation.

Currie is a true statement that hard work and skill will be rewarded. With no formal military experience, Currie answered his nation's call to serve as a private at the beginning of the war and ended as the commander of Canada's forces. General Currie is one of Canada's finest soldiers. If it were not for him, we would not be the country we are today. He served with dignity and honour.

This brave Canadian is from the town of Strathroy in my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex.

I want to thank the members of the General Sir Arthur Currie Memorial Project for their efforts in bringing tribute to this man who so richly deserves it. I ask members to please join me in paying our respects to this hero.

David FournierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to David Fournier, a municipal counsellor for the City of Windsor, who won the title of municipal leader of tomorrow from the Union of Quebec Municipalities.

His remarkable contribution to the community dates back many years. For example, at the tender age of 11, he worked as a volunteer coach with Windsor's minor soccer association. His interests are varied and he takes on more than one cause at a time, which helped earn him the Claude-Masson “youth volunteer” award for the Eastern Townships, presented by the Government of Quebec in 2007.

It is because of passionate and professional people like Mr. Fournier that Windsor is able to offer its best to the public.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to congratulate David Fournier on investing so much of himself in the well-being of his community.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the Minister of Public Safety tabled an important piece of legislation entitled, “An Act to End Early Release and Increase Offender Accountability”.

This legislation, among other things, ensures that protection of society is the guiding principle and objective of corrections and conditional release. It moves toward a system of earned parole by increasing offender responsibility and accountability and strengthening the disciplinary system. It gives victims a greater voice and ensures that our streets and communities are safer for everyone.

The legislation responds to the concerns of victims' groups and police associations across the country. The chief of police for Winnipeg has said that statutory release “should be earned; it shouldn't be automatic”.

We could not agree more, and that is why we are taking this action. We are strengthening Canadians' faith in our justice and corrections system after years of Liberal neglect.

We call on the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc to listen to victims groups and police associations and support this much needed legislation.

Karen's QuestStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Sherry Welsh, member of the South Brant Lions Club.

For the past two years, Sherry has organized fundraising walks approximately 600 kilometres long in loving memory of her sister, Karen Manary Klassen, who passed away 10 years ago to kidney disease.

Under the banner of “Karen's Quest” and sponsored by the South Brant Lions Club, Sherry's walks have raised funds for the Lions Camp Dorset and awareness of organ and tissue donation. Lions Camp Dorset is the only camp in Ontario that specializes in support of families that have a family member who requires kidney dialysis. For approximately 13 weeks each summer, a full medical staff and dialysis equipment is provided for the families who attend. This allows the families to enjoy a summer together filled with activities, which otherwise would not be possible.

This year, Sherry began her walk at Lions Camp Dorset on May 1 and finished on Parliament Hill on June 6. I invite the House to join me in congratulating Sherry Welsh, the South Brant Lions Club, and the Weston Lions Club for a job well done.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today our government announced legislative changes to eliminate the early parole process and increase offender accountability while strengthening victims' rights.

These changes will ensure that the protection of society becomes the paramount principle of the corrections and conditional release system. The punishment should fit the crime, and the rights of criminals should not come ahead of the rights of victims and law-abiding citizens

Once again, we have listened to Quebeckers and Canadians. The proposed legislation responds to the concerns of victims’ groups and police associations across the country, and to the recommendations of the Correctional Service of Canada’s Independent Review Panel.

Here again, our Conservative government has taken the necessary steps to eliminate practices that undermine Quebeckers' and Canadians' confidence in the justice and correctional system.

World Junior Baseball ChampionshipsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the world will be gathering in Thunder Bay from July 23 to August 1 for the World Junior Baseball Championships.

I want to thank and congratulate executive director Warren Philip and the membership of the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association for their winning bid to host these championships.

These championships are an opportunity for people from around the world to experience all that Thunder Bay offers. I know that the people of our great city and the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association will be welcoming hospitable and generous guests.

I urge all members, their constituents and baseball fans across Canada to share our pride and make the short trip to Thunder Bay to attend a world-class tournament that is being hosted by a world-class city.

Government LegislationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the past year has been a difficult one for many Canadians. That is why our government has remained focused on the economy, keeping our communities safe and strengthening Canada's voice on the world stage.

While we have been working on important legislation that Canadians want and expect from their government, the opposition has been playing political games by turning committees into kangaroo courts and fuelling tabloid politics.

Our Conservative government has introduced over 40 bills this session. Thanks to the opposition's delay and obstruction, not one new government bill has passed Parliament to become law. Our government is calling on the opposition to immediately put aside the partisan rhetoric and get to work on our important bills before this session ends.

Canadians expect results on priorities that are important to them. It is time for the opposition to stop interfering, get serious and start working.

Elder AbuseStatements By Members

June 15th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and I would like to draw the attention of the House to the suffering some seniors face.

Elder abuse is often of a financial nature, but it can take many other forms: negligence, physical abuse or unwanted medical treatment.

Some statistics are particularly worrisome. For instance, nearly half of all people who commit suicide are 65 or older. Of course money does not solve everything, but having greater financial means would allow many seniors to live with additional dignity.

For some time now, the Bloc Québécois has been calling for measures that will allow seniors to become more autonomous, such as a $110 monthly increase in the guaranteed income supplement, as well as automatic registration of persons 65 and older.

Let us take the opportunity we have on this special day to think about what we can do for our seniors. Above all, we must remain vigilant.

NDP Deputy LeaderStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the comments made by the deputy leader of the NDP concerning the state of Israel are not only irresponsible and counterproductive, but they are unworthy of Canada's foreign policy.

While acting as a moderator in the region, Canada has always defended Israel's right to exist.

The comments of the NDP's deputy leader, on the other hand, qualify as gratuitous rhetoric that reveals intolerable ignorance of Israel's history. When she questioned Israel's right to exist, her remarks went beyond the realm of what is acceptable.

If the leader of the NDP does not demand the deputy leader's resignation, then he is indeed condoning her remarks.

Canadian politicians can give neither authority nor publicity to this kind of anti-Israel rhetoric, and the leader of the NDP knows it.

Canadian politicians cannot repeat this kind of rhetoric, nor give it any platform. The NDP leader knows this and should ask his deputy leader to step down.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, in a shocking development, it has been revealed that the Liberal Party was selling access to the Liberal leader and his taxpayer-funded residence, Stornoway, just last night. In fact, the event was advertised on the Liberal Party's partisan website, where people could buy tickets and access to Stornoway and the Liberal leader for a cool $1,100.

The contact phone number for this partisan event was a 1-800 hotline phone number for the Liberal Party's exclusive and elite Laurier Club, where membership costs $1,100 each year, and the contact email address was a Liberal Party email address.

It is the same old Liberal Party that was caught handing out brown envelopes stuffed with cash during the sponsorship scandal. It is clear the Liberals have not learned a single thing by selling access to the Liberal leader and his taxpayer-funded residence.

By selling access to himself, the Liberal leader proves once again that he is not in it for Canadians, he is just in it for himself.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the University of Toronto, the G8 conference in L'Aquila cost $260 million—

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

There is no translation.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure if hon. members are quiet they will hear the hon. member for Toronto Centre and understand every word in any event. I am sure we can switch around the dials and the translation will come.

The hon. member for Toronto Centre has the floor.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will start again.

According to the University of Toronto, last year's conference in L'Aquila cost $260 million. The G20 meeting in Pittsburgh cost a total of $18 million.

So what is the reason for the huge differences between the past two conferences in Europe and the United States and the $1 billion the Government of Canada has spent? What is the reason for the difference?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada will host two international conferences. We have consulted and used the experts who planned the security for the Olympics. We have made the same preparations as for the other summits, and even the experts at the University of Toronto said so.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister a very simple question about responsibility.

Is the Prime Minister at least prepared to accept some degree of responsibility on behalf of the Conservative government for the fact that there are untendered contracts, for the fact that the conference venue has changed and for the fact that the guest list is still changing? There must be some reason why the costs are so high in Canada, but not in Italy or Great Britain or even the United States, which is very concerned about security.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member's statements are totally false. For example, it is standard practice to invite developing countries, African countries. They have been invited to every G8 summit I have attended. I noted yesterday that the Liberal Party was opposed to inviting African countries to the G8 summit. That is a historic flip-flop.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will return the favour to the Prime Minister and say that those comments are also totally false.

However, the real question is why we have an extraordinary number of contracts being let without tender and without competition, single source contracts, and we need to recognize the degree of the problem.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to accept any degree of responsibility on his part and on the part of his government for all the changes that took place and all the shifting of ground that took place for the change of venue? Where is the responsibility--

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again the statements by the individual are completely false. I will take, for example, his statement about untendered contracts. All contracting processes have been followed. I suppose what the member for Toronto Centre is referring to is the fact that we do not tender contracts for police services. We use police officers for those services.

All of these costs were budgeted for and approved in the budgets approved by the House of Commons, including the Liberal Party, so I accept its share of responsibility.