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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Davenport.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Catholic Archdiocese of ReginaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, this weekend Catholic Archdiocese of Regina is celebrating its 100th anniversary. For a century now, the Archdiocese has united individuals and families in their spirituality and in their commitment to the community.

The Catholic faithful in Regina offer services to the entire community, including outreach for the poor and homeless, family services, education, and of course spiritual guidance. As its centennial song states, “They toiled and laboured, in field and factory, to work God's creation and make it bear fruit, their joy was unbounded as God blessed their efforts and smiled on their labours, a great faith took root”.

I hope all members of the House will join me in wishing the Catholic Archdiocese of Regina a happy 100th.

I am proud to live in a country that welcomes the contribution of all faith communities. There was a time when belonging to certain religions was grounds for exclusion from public office. As I join in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, I am grateful that those times are over.

Sydney HarbourStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to bring attention to a rally for the dredging of Sydney Harbour. The rally will take place tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. next to the big fiddle on Sydney's waterfront. Cape Bretoners will rally for their harbour to have it dredged one way or another.

Shovels in hand, young and old alike will be there to support the greatest economic opportunity of a generation for Cape Breton, an opportunity that can only occur with the support of the federal and provincial governments, the kind of support that will allow Cape Breton to fly on its own.

The dredging of Sydney Harbour would allow our island to live up to its potential, to provide jobs and opportunities for our young people.

I encourage everyone to come out, shovels in hand, in support of dredging the Sydney Harbour. Let us show Ottawa and Halifax that Cape Bretoners are shovel ready.

I strongly recommend that the members of the government pay attention and if they may, come down and bring us a cheque.

Dr. Réjean HébertStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight the exceptional career of a doctor in my riding, Dr. Réjean Hébert. Dr. Hébert, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke, is a man of many accomplishments.

Since he took over the faculty seven years ago, the number of professors and graduates has doubled. The applied cancer research pavilion will soon open, and the faculty is now known around the world as a result of his work in Uruguay, Mali and now Haiti.

In September, Dr. Hébert will leave the Eastern Townships to work for the Caisse nationale de solidarité pour l'autonomie des personnes âgées et des personnes handicapées in France for one year. On behalf of my constituents in Compton—Stanstead, I wish him the best of luck in his new position. My fellow constituents and I know that France can only stand to gain from the remarkable expertise of Dr. Hébert.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' so-called patient wait times guarantee is failing Canadians.

Just last week, in my hometown of Hamilton, we learned that cancer care is failing to meet key targets. Waits for treatment are too long, too few people get radiation therapy, the number of patients in clinical trials is shockingly low, too many die in hospital and not enough are screened for early detection of cancer.

The Conservatives have abdicated responsibility for the problem by recommending that patients take their health care providers to task, but that is passing the buck.

There is a direct link between poor health outcomes and the government's poor record on health care reform. We know that poverty and disease are closely linked, yet the government has done nothing to fight poverty. Research funding is crucial to support clinical trials, but the government is not paying its fair share. There is a serious shortage of oncologists, nurses and technologists, and yet there is insufficient funding. Families want end-of-life care for their loved ones, but palliative care and pain management are not even on the government's radar.

Excellence in health care requires all of us to work together. The federal government must lead by enforcing the Canada Health Act and ensuring that our health care system is universal, accessible, portable, comprehensive and publicly administered.

Cancer patients and their families deserve nothing less.

Tour de Beauce Bike RaceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 25th annual Tour de Beauce will take place from June 15 to 20. Since 1986, this sporting event has continued to gain recognition and increase in popularity. The Tour de Beauce now attracts top cyclists from the four corners of the globe.

During this event, cycling enthusiasts of all ages will have the opportunity to watch numerous talented Canadian cyclists compete against hundreds of other cyclists from around the world. I am proud that my government has helped fund the Tour de Beauce.

I would also like to thank the Canadian Cycling Association, the organizers and the numerous volunteers who, year after year, work tirelessly to set up this major international race. Thanks to their efforts, Beauce has earned a prominent spot on the international cycling circuit.

I would like to welcome all those who will be coming to visit Beauce and attend the cycling event.

ALS Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is ALS Awareness Month, recognizing people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and their supportive families.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and severely impacting voluntary muscle action. ALS causes difficulty in speaking, increased muscle weakness and total paralysis in its later stages. Approximately 3,000 Canadians currently live with this devastating disease. Sadly there is no cure.

We need a national brain strategy to address not only ALS, but also other chronic brain diseases. We must raise awareness, ensure caregiver support and increase research dollars to improve the quality of life of those living with these diseases and to find new treatments and cures.

Together we can provide hope to individuals who bravely battle brain disease and to their families that lovingly support them.

Steel IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the steel industry is critical to Canada's economy and indeed our entire manufacturing sector, given its sheer magnitude and strategic importance.

Steel is a $14 billion industry in the country, generating some 30,000 direct and 120,000 indirect jobs. It is also essential to our transportation, construction, industrial, natural resources and energy sectors.

As chair of the steel caucus, which is comprised of fellow MPs from all parties, it is my pleasure to recognize representatives of the Canadian Steel Producers Association who are on the Hill this week speaking about new steel. We are using technology to produce steel that is thinner, lighter and stronger, innovations that help make Canada's steel producers more globally competitive.

Another key advantage is a highly skilled workforce. I was pleased to announce a couple of weeks ago in Hamilton that the Government of Canada would provide support for worker retraining and new apprenticeships through the workforce development initiative of the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress: New steel, new jobs, new opportunities and a great economic future.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to hear that nine people were killed and more than thirty injured during an Israeli military operation in international waters against a convoy sailing from Cyprus to bring humanitarian aid to distressed residents of Gaza. We wish to convey our sincere condolences to the families of those who died and to their countries, especially Turkey.

The Bloc Québécois condemns the Israeli army's action and is calling for an impartial investigation. We strongly condemn the Conservative government's failure to express clear support for the United Nations Security Council's declaration calling for an impartial and transparent investigation conforming to international standards, particularly given Canada's bid for a seat on the Security Council. Are we to understand that Canada would not have voted in favour of such a declaration had it been a member of the Security Council?

Let us hope that justice will soon be done and that civilian populations in that part of the world will no longer suffer.

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been strangely quiet when it comes to ensuring Canadians get fair representation in the House of Commons. It turns out they have been working on a secret plan to take seats away from some provinces to give them to others.

The member for Scarborough—Rouge River took time out from his lobbying activities to spill the beans in an email to supporters earlier this week. The Liberal plan is to take seats away from five provinces: one from Newfoundland and Labrador; two from Nova Scotia; three from New Brunswick; three from Manitoba; and four from Saskatchewan.

Contrast this with our government's plan that brings Canada's fast growing provinces closer to representation by population that respects the seat counts of slower growing provinces.

I call on all members of the House to oppose the Liberal plan to diminish the representation of my province and so many others.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn the attacks in Lahore, Pakistan last week against the Ahmadi Muslims in that country. The attacks, which occurred during Friday prayers, show the absolute cruelty and extremism of the Taliban attackers. Members of the Ahmadi Muslim faith have endured more than 30 years of persecution in Pakistan.

In 1973, Ahmadi Muslims were declared non-Muslims in Pakistan and since 1984, the law prohibits them from identifying themselves as Muslims. Ahmadi Muslims have been confronted by angry crowds and have been attacked many times in the past, but they had never been subjected to such coordinated, malicious attacks as those of last Friday.

I stand with the Ahmadiyya Muslims in my community and all around the world in condemning this brutal, cruel attack and share their concerns for the safety and well-being of their fellow worshippers. This type of intolerance and extremism has no place in our society and I encourage all--

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, when it is time to stop violent criminals from attacking our families, Bloc Québécois members simply sit on their hands. We have seen proof of this on many occasions.

For the Bloc leader and his colleagues, it is much easier to simply side with criminals than to stand up for victims and their families. The Bloc's laxity when it comes to justice is quite disconcerting and does not serve the interests of victims in Quebec. For the Bloc Québécois, it is much easier to criticize our justice initiatives than to take concrete action for the welfare of victims of crime.

We in the Conservative Party are the only ones who really care about the victims of crime and the future of our children.

Canada Excellence Research ChairsStatements By Members

June 2nd, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, in so many ways, women face inequality in our country today. Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent awarding of the 19 Canada Excellence Research Chairs, a new and prestigious honour given to 19 men and not one woman.

While the minister stated that he was shocked, and certain questions were asked, the answers have been inadequate and the action plan to do better non-existent.

The failure to recognize women as Canada Excellence Research Chairs is the end result of an ideology put forward by the Conservative government to interfere in and sideline broader research. It is also a result of the government's damaging view that gender equality is not important. The glass ceiling is as strong as ever and the government is a fan of the old boys' club.

We need leadership and an innovative agenda when it comes to post-secondary education and the funding for research. A guiding principle for us in the NDP is that both women and men ought to be not just equal participants, but leaders too.

Eliminating Entitlements for PrisonersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have yet again shown that they care more about criminals than about victims or taxpayers.

Yesterday, the Liberal MP for Ajax—Pickering shamefully defended prisoners getting taxpayer funded old age security benefits. The Liberals should listen to Canadians like the president of Families Against Crime and Trauma, the B.C. government, the chief constable of the Vancouver Police Department and the almost 50,000 Canadians who signed the Canadian Taxpayers Federation petition to end entitlements to prisoners.

He should also listen to Ray King or Sharon Rosenfeldt, both of whose sons were murdered by Clifford Olson. Yesterday, Ms. Rosenfeldt stated:

It’s great to see that this government is putting victims and taxpayers first ahead of criminals. The suspension of OAS benefit payments to inmates does just that.

The Liberals should stop listening to prisoners and instead listen to Canadians who want this bill to pass.

Canadian Muslim Forum Parliamentary DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of representatives of the Arab and Muslim communities are here today to take part in this parliamentary day organized by the Canadian Muslim Forum. They again want to express their appreciation for the country that has welcomed them and their deep desire to play an active role in every aspect of society.

This event provided an opportunity to present the findings of a study on Islamophobia in Canada. The representatives wanted to express to us their concerns about Islamophobia and its potential impact on Arab and Muslim groups.

We hope this day will be a stepping stone to a society based on mutual respect.

Arab and Muslim groups can count on the support of the Bloc Québécois in their efforts to participate fully in our society.

Marian MaloneyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, retired senator, Marian Maloney, passed away on Saturday. Born in 1924 and appointed to the Senate in 1998, she served as an inspiration to us all. She was an example of what it meant to be a loyal, passionate and hard-working Liberal. Her dedication to women in politics knew no bounds.

She tirelessly worked to raise funds for women entering federal politics through the Judy LaMarsh Fund and she mentored those already in politics as president of the Ontario Women's Liberal Commission and as chairwoman of the Women's National Liberal Caucus.

A matriarch to our party, she has left her unforgettable mark on women on and off Parliament Hill.

Today, Senator Maloney's funeral will take place in Toronto. Many of us in Ottawa whose lives she touched cannot be there in person but we will be there in spirit.

For all her contributions to the Liberal Party and to Parliament, we thank her and say, “Job well done, Marian”.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the public safety committee, the Liberals once again put their arrogance on full display.

Doing the Liberal leader's bidding, the member for Ajax—Pickering introduced a motion to reject Bill C-391 and keep the wasteful, ineffective long gun registry as is.

This House, including eight Liberals and twelve NDP MPs, voted in support of this bill at second reading. For the Liberals to introduce this motion shows their lack of respect and blatant disregard of their members and their constituents.

First, the Liberal leader whips his members' votes. Now, the Liberals introduce a motion that ignores the votes of Liberal MPs who voted in favour of Bill C-391, like the member for Yukon.

When it comes to the long gun registry, we either vote to keep it or vote to scrap it. It is that simple.

When the Liberal leader attempts to ignore the will of his members' constituents, he proves that he is not in it for Canadians. He is only in it for himself.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will be paying more than $1 million for every minute of meetings of G8 and G20 heads of state. The Conservatives' convoluted explanations do not hold water.

At the Summit of the Americas, a comparable event with 34 heads of state, 16,000 delegates, and thousands of protesters, held in downtown Quebec City, security costs were $34 million, according to Treasury Board.

Why do we have to pay 30 times as much for an event organized by the Conservatives?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, regrettably, security costs money. We do not want to spend this money but we need to spend this money. If we compare this to the summit that Japan hosted for just the G8, we see that its security costs were more than $1.5 billion.

We have an important responsibility to keep people safe and ensure that people and property in the city of Toronto and the great region of Muskoka are safe. We will do everything we can in reasonable terms to do that.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, incompetence also costs money.

The Conservatives say that the Olympics was a smaller event than the summits. That is just laughable. There were over one million tourists in Vancouver for the Olympics. Clearly, they were using the summits as political plums for the ShamWow minister until they realized they had made a big mistake and had to move the G20 to Toronto. That big mistake is costing Canadians $1 billion to date. It is simply obscene.

Will the government admit that its partisanship and sheer incompetence are responsible for this billion dollar boondoggle?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will point to the security costs for the London Olympics. It will cost London some $2.5 billion Canadian for these Olympics. There will be more delegates participating in the G8 and G20 summits than there were Olympic athletes in the city of Vancouver.

I will be very clear when I say that these are not costs we want to spend. These are costs we need to spend. We will do our level best to ensure that Canadians and those doing important work at the summits are safe.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the billion dollars squandered by the Conservatives could have paid for 34,000 hip operations or 17,000 nurses.

It would have covered the cost of the gun registry for 250 years.

The Conservative's incompetence is now absolutely clear: $1 billion has been sunk into three days of security. The Canadian public is outraged.

Do the Conservatives realize what their incredible incompetence is costing Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us not look at a partisan response. Let us look at what an officer of this Parliament, the Auditor General, had to say about this issue. She said:

We may think that the meetings only last for a few days, but all the preparations involve extensive planning, extensive coordination for months before that, and I think we have to be very careful.

That is what the independent Auditor General said.

We are spending only what we need to spend. We want to ensure that the leaders and the literally thousands of people who will be accompanying them are safe. We will spend only what is absolutely required.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1997, taxpayers gave Brian Mulroney a $2.1 million settlement after he swore under oath that he had no business dealings with Schreiber. Canadians deserve that money back with interest. Compounded over 13 years, it would amount to over $4 million today. That is enough to fund the Toronto gay pride parade for the next 10 years.

Why will the Conservative government not recover these funds that Mr. Mulroney had no right to in the first place? Why will--