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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regard.

Topics

Lynn Ross and Richard HaydenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, Lynn Ross was a dedicated mother and an outstanding classroom teacher at Truro Junior High School. At age 44, she began the school year in perfect health but she was soon diagnosed with cancer and told that she had a short time to live.

After a valiant if short battle against this disease, she passed away, leaving her family, school, students and hundreds of former students shocked by the tragedy of her loss.

Richard Hayden was a giant in the educational and recreational communities in Nova Scotia and a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. He passed after a long and protracted battle against this disease.

Those two were tremendous people who dedicated their lives to the service of others. I was proud to call both of them my friends.

Although we often disagree in this House, I know that we are united on this issue. Cancer is a plague upon the peoples of our nation and in fact the world. It is a plague that at one time or another has struck close to home for each and every one of us.

For those who have suffered—

Lynn Ross and Richard HaydenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mississauga—Brampton South.

Wearing of the KirpanStatements By Members

January 31st, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been wearing my kirpan in the House of Commons since I was elected in 2004. In 2006, the Supreme Court confirmed the right of Sikhs to wear the kirpan.

I have visited other parliaments, the Supreme Court of Canada and the United States Congress. I have always worn my kirpan and it has never been a problem. Our discussion must be reasonable and respectful and it must avoid the type of rhetoric that serves only to divide Canadians. In my work, I have always promoted respect and understanding. This is the Canada that I grew up in and the Canada that I want for my two daughters.

Let us be reasonable and fair. In short, let us be Canadian. Let us respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Joan Elizabeth CrockerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the life of an accomplished woman I called my friend, Joan Elizabeth Crocker. It is with sadness that I share with the House the news that Joan passed away on December 24, 2010, at the age of 53.

Joan was a good friend and colleague to many. I first met Joan in 1999 through the Magna for Canada scholarship program, which was then run by our former colleague, Belinda Stronach.

It is through her hard work with that program and various volunteer efforts that Joan will be remembered, for her mentoring and championing of young people and their causes. Notably, following Hurricane Katrina, Joan organized a team of volunteers to help in the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.

Joan Crocker had much more to give to others. Her enthusiasm and zest for life will be remembered in our hearts forever. We are all richer for having known her and we will miss her dearly.

Andrée ChampagneStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to an open letter I sent to Conservative Senator Andrée Champagne, asking her to explain her refusal to support Bill C-232 regarding bilingual judges and Bill C-311 on climate change, she replied with comments that bordered on racist.

She said that I lacked loyalty to Canada, “the country that welcomed me and that I wanted to see torn apart”. Is the Conservative Senator trying to say that a citizen who was not born here does not have the same right to an opinion as other Quebeckers and that he or she does not have the right to vote or be involved in a sovereignist party? She added that she was a "purebred Quebecker,” as evidenced by her genealogy.

The Bloc Québécois believes in openness and believes that all Quebeckers, regardless of where they come from, should have full rights of citizenship, including the right to decide Quebec's future.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government is concerned by the recent violence and unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. We regret the continued loss of life during these protests and reiterate the call by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for all parties to refrain from using violence and for authorities to respond to these protests peacefully.

Our government condemns any action that hampers democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. These core principles are at the centre of this government's foreign policy.

Our government will continue to impress upon the governments in the region the need to renew their commitment to strengthening the basis for democracy, consultation, dialogue and cooperation.

We urge the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen to accelerate the pace of democratic and economic reforms in order to meet the aspirations of their citizens.

Ryan RussellStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sergeant Ryan Russell was 35 years old. He had a wife and young son. He loved hockey; he was a goalie. He loved his job. It is what his father had done, and his father had been his hero. One day a few weeks ago, he left to go to work, more than 40 years of his life still ahead of him. In an instant, it was over.

In Toronto, more than 10,000 people attended his funeral. Beforehand, many had stood on sidewalks waiting for the procession, the city quieter than I had ever heard it before.

We try so hard to take the risk out of our lives. Then we see some people, police officers, firefighters, soldiers and others, who take on more risk and do it willingly to make us safer. How can they do it, we wonder. Could we?

So a city stopped, to feel sad, to offer hope for the survivors, and for Sergeant Russell and for all those who do what he did, to say thank you.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the House resumes sitting and I can proudly say that on this side of the House, Conservative members are eager and ready to get to work for Canadians. This work includes moving on important crime bills that remain before the public safety committee. It is my hope that our eagerness is shared by opposition members across the way. Unfortunately, I am afraid that it already seems to be business as usual for some Liberals.

Today the member for Ajax—Pickering is again sticking up for criminals and promoting the failed prison farm system, a program with a dismal rate of success of less than 1%, and which loses millions of tax dollars each year. I call on the Liberal Party public safety critic and his coalition partners to work with us to get results for law-abiding Canadians and victims and to stop putting criminals' rights before those of victims.

Youth Gang Prevention FundStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to implore the federal government in the strongest possible terms to renew and extend the funding for the youth gang prevention fund, scheduled to end this March. Spending billions of dollars on new prisons while eliminating funding for these successful crime prevention measures gives a whole new meaning to the term “penny wise and pound foolish”. It is a false economy that defies reason, logic, and common sense.

We know that we can steer at-risk youth away from the crime and the violence of street gang life if we intervene at an early stage. These programs provide mentorship, job and life skills, recreation and, most importantly, a clean, safe and healthy place to go, in contrast to the streets. Programs like Circle of Courage, Project O.A.S.I.S., Turning the Tides, the West Central Youth Outreach Project, and Just TV are small, effective programs that show proven results in helping at-risk youth stay out of destructive gang life.

For the cost of keeping just one inmate in prison for one year, any one of these programs could continue. I urge the government to listen to common sense and extend the funding for the youth gang prevention fund.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the economy is the government's top priority. Canada's steady economic growth proves that we are on the right tack.

Thanks to Canada's economic action plan, our country weathered the storm better than any other industrialized country and is leading the economic recovery. According to Statistics Canada, the Canadian economy has created 400,000 jobs since July 2009—the strongest job growth in the G7—and the economy has grown for five straight quarters.

These are positive signs, but the economic recovery remains fragile, as we have said all along. If we continue to implement our Prime Minister's tax relief plan to protect and create jobs, neither the leader of the Liberal Party nor his plans to increase taxes will be able to slow down our recovery, kill jobs and set Canadian families and workers back.

Death PenaltyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has given us yet another reason to fear a Conservative majority, as though we needed another one. He has said, “there are times where capital punishment is appropriate”. In the same breath, he also said he did not wish to reopen the debate.

Need I remind the House that he said the same thing about abortion? Yet the Prime Minister did nothing to stop his backbenchers from introducing bills to reopen that debate, which was considered closed.

Even more worrisome, he did not hesitate to support those bills. We can only assume that he would do the same for the issue of the death penalty and that these kinds of bills would pass if the Conservatives were to form a majority government.

Instead of sending mixed messages and leaving room for ambiguity, the Prime Minister should accept the fact that the death penalty is a thing of the past and that it has no place in a democratic society.

Political AdvertisingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the lifespan of the Conservatives' latest round of over the top attack ads lasted about as long as their cockamamie plan to change the words of our national anthem. Does everyone remember that brain storm?

The only thing shorter lived was the support offered by the member for Edmonton Centre, who endorsed and tried to justify the ads one day but pulled an about-face the next day that would make Linda Blair in The Exorcist blush, saying they were not his style and to pay no attention to them. Well, Canadians were paying attention.

Did thousands of them call Conservatives to express their outrage? Yes, yes, yes. Did they expose the Conservatives for their dishonesty in these malicious attacks? Yes, yes, yes. Did some commentators compare the deceitful acts to the work of a bunch of drunken frat boys? Yes, yes, yes. Will Canadians reject this type of offensive Conservative smear and instead embrace a positive Liberal vision for this country? Yes, yes, yes.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the economy is our government's top priority. Canada's continued economic growth demonstrates we are on the right track. With the help of our government's economic action plan, Canada has weathered the storm better than other industrialized countries and is leading the economic recovery. According to Statistics Canada estimates, the Canadian economy has created nearly 400,000 jobs since July 2009, the strongest job growth in the G7, and the economy has grown for five straight quarters. These are positive signs.

However, we have always stated that the economy's recovery is still fragile. Canada cannot afford the risk of the needless election that the Liberal leader is pushing for. We need to continue with the Prime Minister's low tax plan to protect and create jobs, not the Liberal leader's high tax agenda that would stall our recovery, kill jobs, and set hard-working families back.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as events have unfolded in Egypt, Canadians want to be sure their government is speaking up for democratic values, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, an end to Internet censorship and a clear path toward a democratic transition.

My question is for the Prime Minister. What exactly has the government been saying to the authorities in Egypt? Are we or are we not standing up for democratic values?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said, I think, in North Africa last week that the fundamental basis of this government's foreign policy was the encouragement of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Those are the values that we express to all governments around the world.

Obviously important events are unfolding in Egypt. We want to see it transition toward the basic values of freedom, democracy, human rights and justice. We want to ensure the transition does not tend toward violence, instability and extremism.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians in Egypt are complaining about how slowly the Canadian government is reacting. They are calling the embassy and are getting an answering machine. They are going to the airport only to find that their flights have been cancelled or delayed. The Government of Canada's reaction has been chaotic. The Conservative government has been making cuts to Canadian diplomatic services for years.

Is the Prime Minister finally going to admit that these cuts are endangering Canadians in Egypt?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the opposite is true. There are hundreds of thousands of Canadians in Egypt and the government, the embassy, is meeting their needs. There is already a plane on site in Egypt that is preparing for takeoff with Canadians and other foreign nationals on board.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are now paying for these irresponsible cuts both here and abroad. There will be other cuts if the Conservatives grant tax breaks to the most profitable companies in Canada. This gift to big business will lead to cuts to health care, education, diplomatic services and assistance for veterans.

When will the Prime Minister listen to ordinary Canadian families and do away with corporate tax cuts?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that the economy, job creation and economic growth are priorities for Canadians. That is why we believe that it is important to keep employers' taxes low. We do not intend to increase taxes, which could have a significant negative impact on the Canadian economy.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is raising taxes for small and medium size enterprises and giving tax giveaways to already profitable corporations at a time when Canadian families want to be able to put their kids through post-secondary education and look after their moms and dads in their homes. They do not see their priorities reflected in the priorities of the government.

When will the government start listening to those families where the elastic is pulled tight and start doing something for them instead of corporations that do not need the help?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's priority, as I said earlier, is the economy and, in particular, economic growth and the creation of jobs. We are not going to raise taxes on employers in the middle of a recovery.

I met today with representatives of business, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and they would put out that the proposal by the Leader of the Opposition would raise taxes on over 100,000 Canadian businesses, something this government has no intention of doing in this recession.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is raising taxes on small and medium-sized enterprises that create jobs in the country. It is giving a tax giveaway to large already profitable corporations.

The government says it wants to create jobs, invest in health care and education and give middle-class families some help and a break. That is what we are saying.

When will the government put middle-class families first and stop giving help to corporations that do not need help in the first place?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government had lowered taxes for all Canadian businesses in the 2007 budget. The proposal on the table right now from the Leader of the Opposition would be to raise taxes, not just on a handful of corporations but on 100,000 Canadian businesses.

The business community does not support that. It is not in the interests of job creation and the Canadian economy. This government will not do anything that will hurt the Canadian economy.

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ontario, British Columbia and the Maritimes have been compensated for sales tax harmonization, but Quebec is still waiting. And yet, everything seems to have been resolved: Ottawa recently declared that it does not have a problem with Quebec collecting the sales tax, a contentious issue just a few months ago.

Since all these details have been worked out, that is, there will be no tax on the tax and a single tax will be collected by Quebec, can the Prime Minister tell us what is holding up this file and depriving Quebec of $2.2 billion?

Sales Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it has been clear for a long time that this government favours sales tax harmonization. That is why we have agreements with a number of provinces in this regard. To date, the Quebec government has chosen not to harmonize its sales tax but to retain a sales tax that is distinct from the federal tax. However, we are currently negotiating this matter in good faith and making progress.