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House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Municipal and Regional GovernanceStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, last month at UBCM, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, two politicians from my riding were recognized for their contributions to municipal and regional governance.

Jim Ogilvie has been serving the city of Kimberley for 43 years. He was the mayor from 1965 to 2002 and 2005 to present. He has served on the Regional District of East Kootenay for countless years in a number of capacities. His knowledge of policy and procedure at the municipal and regional levels is outstanding.

Sharon Fraser is a councillor for the District of Sparwood and has served her community for 25 years. As mayor, I had the pleasure of working with Sharon for six years. Her no-nonsense approach and colourful language always kept me on my toes.

I would like to especially congratulate these two individuals, as well as all municipal politicians, for their contributions to grassroots politics municipal government.

World Hospice and Palliative Care DayStatements by Members

October 21st, 2011 / 11 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, World Hospice and Palliative Care Day was last Saturday, October 8, and I am pleased, as a founding member of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, to call attention to the noble goals of this international day of action.

Non-communicable conditions like cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases account for 60% of death worldwide. That is why this year's theme of “Many diseases, many lives, many voices—Palliative care for non-communicable conditions” draws attention to the all too frequent incidences where palliative care is not available for the medical, emotional and social needs of those suffering through an illness and their families.

This year, advocates for more and better palliative care gathered at events across 70 countries to raise funds and increase public awareness. I encourage all my hon. colleagues to join me in applauding their efforts and to take this opportunity to recommit, as elected representatives and as leaders, to finding ways to ensure that where there is need, palliative care is available.

Hungarian CanadiansStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Canadians of Hungarian descent on this 55th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

The freedom fight of 1956 was a bold attempt by Hungarians to establish solidarity away from the long arm of Soviet and Communist rule. After this uprising, over 200,000 Hungarians fled their homes into neighbouring countries, and 38,000 were welcomed in Canada with warmth and compassion.

The bloodshed 55 years ago bears powerful witness to the unwavering spirit of freedom that resounds in the hearts of the Hungarian people.

Today I invite all hon. members to join me in commemorating the shining example of idealism, patriotism and sheer courage that is the immortal legacy of the freedom fighters of the Hungarian revolution.

God bless Canada és Isten áldja Magyarországot.

Honoré-MercierStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Paulina Ayala NDP Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to commend a colleague from my riding of Honoré-Mercier, the mayor of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Chantal Rouleau. I want to acknowledge her courage in how she carries out her duties. She recently publicly condemned the collusion and corruption she has observed in the construction industry for years. In so doing, she has restored the confidence of people who had become disillusioned by politics, and I congratulate her for that.

I would also like to commend two organizations in my riding that work to improve people's lives and that just held their benefit gala on October 15: Génération Éducation, whose mission is to help elementary school students from disadvantaged neighbourhoods by providing financial and moral support tailored to the specific needs of each student, and the Quebec Latin-American Chamber of Commerce, an agency that showcases the contributions made by immigrant professionals and entrepreneurs.

Finally, I want to congratulate the people of Tunisia on their first free election since 1956.

Democratic ReformStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has committed to moving the House of Commons toward fair representation. We are committed to ensure that any update to the formula for allocating House of Commons seats will be fair to all provinces.

We will increase the number of seats now and in the future to better reflect the growth of faster-growing provinces and we will ensure that the number of seats for the other provinces does not fall.

We expect the support of all members in the House for this important democratic move. That great statesman and Father of Confederation, George Brown, was passionate about securing the principle of representation by population in Canada. Today's members of Parliament should do no less.

A move toward fair representation by population would give more seats to the growing provinces, while protecting the seat counts of all the other provinces.

We are governing for all Canadians.

South Cariboo Afghanistan ProjectStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to the South Cariboo Afghanistan project. A decade ago, Mr. Jack Witty of 100 Mile House was moved by stories of the rebuilding effort in Afghanistan to ask the question: “What would happen if a rural community like the South Cariboo helped a rural community in Afghanistan to rebuild?”

In partnership with Mr. Esmat Nazaryar, an Afghan Canadian from the village of Jeloucha in northern Afghanistan, the South Cariboo Afghanistan project set out to help rebuild Mr. Nazaryar's community.

Since 2004, with support from Hope International, the Aga Khan Foundation and CIDA, this project has helped to construct a medical clinic, clean water system, roads, a seed and animal bank and a school.

Mr. Nazaryar and his family visited 100 Mile House last month to convey the thanks of the community of Jeloucha to all those in the South Cariboo who supported the rebuilding process. For many in northern Afghanistan, Canada is a place called 100 Mile House.

Forillon Park ExpropriationsStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1970, the Quebec government expropriated the homes of approximately 225 families and the land of 1,500 people in the Gaspé to allow the federal government to create Forillon Park. The people expropriated still feel very bitter about it.

Last February, the members of this House apologized. It was the long-awaited first step towards reconciliation. Forillon Park then gave the expropriated families a pass granting them free access to the park. Other measures have been or will be implemented.

I would like to point out that, yesterday, in the National Assembly of Quebec, a motion to apologize to the people expropriated from Forillon was introduced by the provincial members for Matane and Gaspé, Mr. Bérubé and Mr. Mamelonet. The motion was unanimously adopted by Quebec MNAs. Thus, another step was taken yesterday to ease the pain of those expropriated from Forillon Park.

North KoreaStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in North Korea is appalling. As noted recently by the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in North Korea, there are up to 200,000 political prisoners languishing in North Korean concentration camps, a sharp increase from 10 years ago. Reports of the conditions in these gulags are shocking, including executions, torture, rapes and forced abortions on female prisoners.

Canada remains gravely concerned by the lack of fundamental freedoms in North Korea. Our government has imposed sanctions and a controlled engagement policy on this rogue regime.

I urge the regime in Pyongyang to release its political prisoners and co-operate with the international community.

Community OrganizationsStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to proudly recognize the many community organizations that provide prevention services to the people, particularly the young people, of Terrebonne, Blainville and Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines.

In this world full of inequality, many young people have difficulty finding their place, a problem that can manifest itself in various ways, such as addictions, depression and crime.

There are many prevention organizations in my riding: Uniatox, the youth shelters and the Centre rayons de femmes, just to name a few.

For 32 years and with very limited resources, Uniatox has helped many individuals who were at risk of developing addictions or committing crimes by focusing on the early detection of distress among young people.

If the Canadian government truly wants to make streets and communities safer, it must invest in prevention by providing funding to community organizations like the ones I just mentioned.

Religious FreedomStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Coptic Christian minority has suffered the wrath of Islamic terrorist thugs who are slaughtering innocent women and children. It is the responsibility of the Egyptian government to finally protect all citizens, regardless of religion.

Thanks in part to the good work of the Conservative member for Mississauga—Erindale, this government is working to establish a new office of religious freedom. This is but one of the early steps that this government is taking in the great tradition of our country to stand on the side of those who are persecuted and give voice to the voiceless and defence to the defenceless.

We will stand in solidarity with the Coptic Christian minority, as they fight for their rights for freedom of religion, for peace and for harmony in Egypt.

Small BusinessesStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past week Canadians celebrated Small Business Week with over 350 events across the country.

Canada is made up of small and medium-sized businesses. They are the vast majority of all companies and employ 6 of every 10 private sector workers. They are innovative and service-oriented. They are the lifeblood of Canadian communities.

I was an entrepreneur and business owner for many years before running for public office. I appreciate the hard work, dedication and optimism that it takes and I understand the challenges. Small businesses give much to Canadian society, and they need government to do its part in return.

Here is what I hear from businesses: “Give us less red tape, not just another study; reduce rather than increase our EI payroll tax burden; and accept our ideas for fixing complex tax and reporting requirements that are rigid and overlapping”.

Today I want to congratulate everyone who owns, runs or works in a small business for their immeasurable contributions to Canadian life. I ask all Canadians to support their local small businesses.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Toronto Sun had it right this morning with its headline “NDP sails in different directions on ship contracts”.

The NDP's placeholder leader was calling for political interference in this process, despite the fact that the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore had it right when he said that the selection process was fair, praising the announcement as “a great day for Canada, no question. Yes, sir”.

This again proves that the NDP is disunited and weak when it is faced with such tests in the House. It is contradicting itself on such critical issues, and Canadians are wondering who really speaks for the NDP.

Our government continues to be focused on what matters to Canadians: job creation and economic growth. Meanwhile, the NDP caucus is not able to stay united when times get tough.

NDP spokesmen are taking different positions on different issues and Canadians are wondering if they can be trusted to actually do their job. They know that on this side of the House we will continue to remain focused on jobs and the economy because that is what Canadians have asked for.

Canada World YouthStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to pay tribute to Canada World Youth celebrating its 40th anniversary. This is a non-profit organization that offers international educational programs for young people. To mark the occasion, more than 140 Canadian municipalities have declared this week as “Canada World Youth Week”.

Over the years, 34,000 youth have taken part in exchange and international programs in over 67 countries. One of my own constituents, Alexander Economou, is serving in Mali right now.

Canada World Youth continues to change the lives of thousands of young Canadians by helping them become active citizens and compassionate leaders. I encourage all hon. members to learn about its excellent work.

We wish Canada World Youth many more years of success in promoting youth engagement in Canada and all over the world.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is a confused group. The many contradictory positions taken this week show that the official opposition is not even coherent, let alone united. They are out of their league, and their caucus shows it through their contradictory positions on critical issues. Canadians must be wondering who really speaks for the NDP.

For example, their interim leader is calling for mandatory bilingualism of Supreme Court justices, yet the NDP House leader, one of their top lieutenants and the party's representative on the committee, supported the nominations for the two new Supreme Court justices as part of an all-party process. It is evidence that the NDP caucus is not able to stay united when times get tough.

This week, NDP spokesmen have taken contradictory stands on issues such as the merit-based selection of Supreme Court justices. This is yet another worrying example that the weak and disunited NDP is out of their league and simply not fit to govern.

LibyaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a historic day for Libya. The future of that country now belongs to all Libyans. The time now has come for Canada to withdraw its military operation and it is time to focus on diplomacy and helping rebuild that country.

All across the Middle East, we are seeing ordinary citizens demand freedom. Canada must be ready to support them in all ways. Can the minister now inform the House what Canada will do to foster democracy and support Libya as well as the Arab Spring?

LibyaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously the military mission is very quickly coming to an end. The UN-sanctioned mission to protect Libyan civilians from Gadhafi's regime has certainly accomplished its goal.

We are working now on diplomatic efforts. I visited Tripoli just last week, where we announced up to $10 million to support two things: one, democratic development in Libya, and two, the demilitarization of the country. Those are obviously two important priorities.

Our embassy is now back open and our ambassador is on the ground. We are going to do everything we can to support the new government.

LibyaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the NDP, I would like to say how proud we are of the role our troops have played in Libya. We agreed with the United Nations: we had to intervene to stop a dictator from killing his own people.

Throughout the Middle East we are seeing people fighting for freedom. Canada has to be prepared to support them. Is it possible for the minister to be more clear about what our country is going to do to help Libya?

LibyaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are also very proud of the Canadian Forces who, once again, have contributed to democracy and human rights. They have done very good work under the leadership of General Charles Bouchard. He was the leader of the entire NATO mission. We were very proud of their contribution.

We will continue to work with the new Libyan government on advancing democracy and demilitarizing the country. These two goals are very important. We have already committed to that through our ambassador. I was in Tripoli last week to offer help to the new government.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the omnibus crime bill, Bill C-10, yesterday at committee a representative from the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel was highly critical of the problem overload that prosecutors have in this country. They have it already.

Instead of putting more police officers in our communities, with Bill C-10 the government's plan is to jam up our courts and prisons. The prosecutors have been very clear, both provincially and federally, that they cannot carry the load anymore.

When is the government going to come clear on what Bill C-10 would cost, and what is the government going to do about relieving the pressure on our prosecutors?

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, in committee yesterday the crown prosecutor certainly expressed some concern about overload, but the prosecutors were in essence pleading for more resources to ensure that the mandate they carefully carry out to protect Canadian citizens is carried out, as is the intent of Bill C-10.

Certainly we will dedicate all the resources necessary to ensure that cities and communities are safe, because we will stand up for citizens and we will protect victims.

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's justice minister has clearly stated that the Conservatives' crime bill does not pass the test. The Quebec government recommends an approach based on the rehabilitation and reintegration of young offenders, rather than one based on repression. Quebec's approach has proven to be very successful for many years.

Will this government respond to Quebeckers' legitimate demands and amend this bill?

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, here is something new: Canadians gave us the mandate to protect people and keep our streets safe. This is really nothing new. It is a clear mandate. Clearly, Quebec has some concerns, particularly with regard to young offenders, but this bill targets violent and repeat young offenders. Why? Because they are a threat to ordinary people.

With regard to young offenders, clearly they may be incarcerated; however, young people age 18 and younger will not be put in adult prisons.

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the hon. member's math skills are just as good as the Minister of Finance's. I do not know what a clear mandate means, when 61% of the population voted against this government in the May 2 election.

The Minister of Public Safety suggested that Quebec cut its social and educational programs to pay for his crime bill. He refuses to listen to the Quebec National Assembly's unanimous request, which states that some of the bill's provisions go against Quebec's interests. That is serious.

When will this government stop doing whatever it wants and listen to the opinion of a province that knows what it is talking about?

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, one thing is certain: Quebec knows what it is talking about, as does the rest of Canada. Perhaps all Canadians did not support us, but 70% of them definitely did not support the NDP. We are still targeting violent, repeat offenders. We are standing up for victims and ordinary people. We are asking the NDP to do the same.

LibyaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the entire world saw that, after 42 years of dictatorship, Libyans can now turn the page on a dark period in their history marked by repression and terror. Today, they have the opportunity to lay the foundation for a state where the rule of law will prevail over the whims of a dictator. Libyans will need a great deal of support and guidance to achieve this. What the Minister of Foreign Affairs said is fine, but, yesterday we heard the Prime Minister say that he is ready to abandon Libya.

Where is the plan to support the reconstruction process?