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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prorogation.

Topics

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, here is “The Bloc and the Quebecker”:

Having spent its time
Sitting on its thumbs,
The Bloc was glum
Now that summer had come.
Not one vote for Quebeckers
From this opportunistic, simplistic party.
When asked to explain
their raison d'être and justify their existence
Until the new session,
I'll tell you by August, said the Bloc,
Disinformation and pie in the sky,
That is what the Bloc lives by.
But the Quebecker is no fool,
That's what makes him so cool.
What did you do all that time?
He said to these freeloaders.
Week in and week out
We talked round about.
You talked? said the Quebecker to the Bloc.
Well, now start dancing!

Bombing of Air India Flight 182Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, next week will mark the 25th anniversary of the tragic Air India bombing in 1985 that killed 331 innocent men, women and children.

Sadly, Canadians are still waiting for justice to be served, and the families of victims are still repairing deep emotional wounds and fractured home lives.

Throughout almost two decades of stonewalling by the government, the victims' families have shown tremendous endurance, strength and courage. The onus is now on the federal government to ensure that a tragedy like this will never happen again.

We hope the report brings peace and closure to the victims' families. We hope the guilty face justice. However, it will require government agencies to co-operate and share their information. Most importantly, this report must be scrutinized by Parliament and implemented as a priority to ensure that the government can prevent future attacks.

I urge all Canadians to take a moment and reflect once again on one of Canada's most horrendous acts of violence. We join the families in support and solidarity as they continue to grieve and mourn the loss of their loved ones.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, despite opposition mudslinging and attempts to score cheap political points, our government remains focused on the economy.

Canada's strong economic performance is a testament to the leadership of our Prime Minister and our Conservative government. Since July of last year, Canada has created almost 310,000 new jobs. With numbers like this, it is not surprising that the influential magazine, The Economist, recently called Canada “an economic star”.

It is encouraging to see Canada's economy on the right track, thanks to our government's actions. Nonetheless the global recovery remains fragile. That is why we need to fully implement Canada's economic action plan.

While our plan is helping Canada lead the way on jobs and growth, the Liberal leader's plan to raise taxes would halt our recovery in its tracks and kill almost 400,000 jobs.

Education for AllStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2000, 189 countries signed the Dakar Declaration and committed to achieving education for all by 2015. Taking advantage of this year's World Cup, UNESCO, supported by FIFA, has launched a campaign to rally public opinion on the importance of education.

In Quebec, the Montreal Impact and the Institut de coopération pour l'éducation des adultes are running the 1GOAL: Education for All campaign. People all over the world must have access to education, which is why it is so important for the federal government to achieve its target of 0.7% of GDP for official development assistance. That is why I urge the people of Quebec to sign the petition: “Sign your name for those who can't”.

I would also like to highlight the remarkable contribution of Pierre Martin, who passed away earlier this week. Mr. Martin took on a number of roles in Quebec's education department under Paul Gérin-Lajoie, and helped create Quebec's university network, which was designed to improve access to a university education.

Robert MiddlemissStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to honour the memory of a former Liberal member of the National Assembly of Quebec, Robert Middlemiss.

Robert was a McGill University graduate and a geotechnical engineering consultant. He began his career in politics as a municipal councillor for the former city of Aylmer from 1970 to 1979.

“Bob” was the MNA for Pontiac from 1981 to 2003. He served as the parliamentary assistant to the minister of the environment and to the minister of health and social services, later becoming minister responsible for agriculture, the fisheries, food, transport and public safety.

We will miss his generosity, his dedication and his love for our region. We want to acknowledge his vision and his great determination to develop McConnell-Laramée Boulevard, which is now Allumettières Boulevard.

I offer my deepest condolences to his wife Lorraine and his family.

Bob, we thank you and we salute you.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the summer break is almost here and it is important to highlight that there are 20 opposition MPs who will have one very important question posed to them this summer by their constituents: How will they vote on Bill C-391?

I encourage the eight Liberal and 12 NDP members of Parliament to spend their time away from Ottawa listening to their constituents, and when they return, to vote in favour of Bill C-391.

Once again, I also ask that both the Liberal and NDP leaders do the right thing and allow all of their MPs to vote freely on this issue and have the ability to truly reflect their own beliefs and that of their constituents.

It is time to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. Canadians know this. They also know the choice is clear. Members should either vote to keep the long gun registry or vote to scrap it, as they did at second reading. It is that simple.

The people they represent deserve to be heard.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister about the Air India inquiry.

First, I want to say very clearly that we commend the Government of Canada for having commissioned this inquiry and we commend the commissioner for his extraordinary work and his great diligence, and I am sure all Canadians stand in solidarity with the Air India families.

But the question remains, and it is a difficult question for the Prime Minister. In his report, Commissioner Major criticized the complacent attitude of the agencies, even in speaking to the commission, concerning the problems that have not yet been resolved.

What does the Prime Minister

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank the commissioner, Justice Major, for his report and for his dedication to a project that is so important to our country. The government launched this inquiry in order to get at the truth. Several aspects of the truth are very disturbing, and the government will take the appropriate action.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on page 146 of his report, the commissioner clearly states that there are still problems, even with some of the agencies' testimony before the commission. He discovered a sunny attitude that was not based on the facts or the reality. He clearly said that the commission took issue with that sunny attitude.

What will the Prime Minister do to ensure that the attitude of those agencies changes—

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat my earlier answer. We all thank Justice Major for his report and for his incredible devotion over, I think, the past three years in getting to the bottom of this and getting to the truth in this matter. I know it has very difficult for everyone involved.

There is absolutely no doubt, in my own experience, that there was a lot of resistance to this inquiry. I think Justice Major made some reference to that fact and also to my interventions in that regard. The government will take those recommendations into consideration and ensure we drive forward with real change.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Prime Minister's answer but it has to be said that the commissioner takes the unusual step in his report of saying that even up to the point of the evidence presented by the government before the commission, even during the last two or three years, he did not detect a change of attitude on the part of those agencies, not only with respect to what had happened in 1985 and the years before and immediately after, but even up until today.

There is a culture of complacency, which is dangerous for the country. I wonder if the Prime Minister can tell us what specific steps he intends to take to ensure—

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I did have a good discussion with the families on that very subject today. It is very clear that this government intends there to be change, which is why we appointed the inquiry. Obviously, while we commit to moving forward on the recommendations, today is a day to think about the families and the loved ones who have been living with the deaths of these over 300 Canadians for a quarter of a century now.

I am glad we are getting to the bottom of this and will be able to move forward but it is a reminder that we should never treat security lightly in this country.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, when next week's G8 summit starts, world leaders will not visit $50 million in unfinished mud parks, bridges, gazebos and a sunken boat paid for in their names. While world leaders cannot visit unfinished pork, tourists will not be going to Toronto. The U.S. just issued a travel advisory not to visit Toronto during the G8.

At the height of the tourist season, Conservatives are shutting down Toronto.

The Economist magazine is now calling the $1 billion in waste a “loonie boondoggle”. How much more of an international embarrassment can this get?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is very proud to be hosting the G8 and G20 meetings. We have indicated that a large part of the costs associated with these meeting deal with security concerns. These concerns are legitimate and they are in line with what most consultants have indicated to us. We are looking forward to welcoming here in Canada the leaders from these countries, as well as all of their delegations.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, he should tell that to the 78% of Canadians who think the spending is out of control.

Here is the problem. The Conservatives approved $50 million in projects under the banner of the G8 that have zero to do with the summit. This is not a gazebo and ice rink sales convention. It is a world leaders' meeting on international debt.

I am not talking about the $500,000 the Conservatives spent on the bunny hop trail or the $50 million and other pork shoved into the minister's riding. I am talking about this G8 legacy fund, a bonus $50 million for the minister in the name of the summit that has nothing to do with the summit at all.

How do they justify this?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government has done some 12,000 infrastructure projects in every corner of the country.

We have two major goals as part of our economic action plan: one is to create badly needed jobs in the short term, and the other is to improve public infrastructure in the long term. We are accomplishing both of those objectives. We have seen since July the creation of more than 300,000 new jobs. Our plan is working.

Quebec NationOral Questions

June 17th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, 20 years after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, the Conservative government has proven over the course of this parliamentary session that it will never back up its recognition of the Quebec nation with concrete measures. The government's bill to reduce Quebec's political weight in the House of Commons is evidence of that.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, for him, recognizing the Quebec nation was merely symbolic and that what he really wants to do is marginalize it?

Quebec NationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, those of us on this side of the House have made it clear that we recognize the Quebec nation within a united Canada. The only party in the House of Commons still questioning that is the Bloc Québécois. Proportional representation by population is a basic principle in the 1867 Constitution.

Quebec NationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that principle has been applied very generously in the case of Prince Edward Island.

Federalism has been bad for the Quebec nation both politically and economically. The government is refusing to give Quebec the $2.2 billion it is owed for harmonizing its sales tax, despite having compensated the Atlantic provinces, Ontario and British Columbia.

Is that not further proof that the Prime Minister could not care less about Quebec, its priorities or its National Assembly?

Quebec NationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker. Again, this government's policy is to offer all provinces the opportunity to harmonize their sales taxes with the federal tax, the GST. Five provinces have decided to do that, but Quebec chose another route. It decided to keep two separate taxes. We want true tax harmonization. Negotiations with Quebec are ongoing, and I hope that Quebec will decide to harmonize its sales tax with the GST.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, disputes with this government have multiplied. Open federalism has become predatory federalism. The issue of securities, in which the Conservatives want to take from Quebec to give to Ontario, is one example. The project is so flawed that the minister is incapable of clearly telling us whether or not it provides for the dismantling of the passport system.

Could the Minister of Finance clearly tell us if the passports issued by regulators, such as the AMF, will be unconditionally recognized, should his commission ever see the light of day? Clearly, please.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have been saying, it will be a system that is—