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House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

VeteransStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I attended the “Honouring our Local Veterans” celebration in Owen Sound. This 11th annual event, hosted by the Billy Bishop Home and Museum and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6, is one of the longest-running programs of its kind in Canada.

Over the past 11 years, over 83 local veterans who served in the army, navy, merchant marines or air force have been honoured at this event. Ten more local veterans were honoured yesterday for their courageous service to the Canadian Forces. They were Glen Rawson, Gladys Morris, Howard Donovan, Charles Dell, Michael Krulicki, Art Hawes, Percy Straight, Lorne Weatherall, Eric Eastwood and Yvonne Inkster.

Participating in events such as this gives me the opportunity to reflect on the dedication and tremendous personal sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.

With November 11 just around the corner, I encourage everyone to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony in their communities or to simply take a few moments out of the day to reflect, to respect and to remember. Lest we forget.

Canadian Library MonthStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the month of October has been designated as Canadian Library Month. The Canadian Library Association and library partners from across the country developed this idea in order to help raise public awareness of the valuable role that libraries play in the lives of Canadians.

The theme for this year is “Your Library: A Place Unbound”, which suggests that, as part of a changing world, libraries are growing and expanding their resources as they connect people to information and reading. Libraries are places of endless opportunity and play a key role in providing all Canadians with access to the material that is integral to ensuring that they are regular contributors to the economic, social and cultural successes of their communities.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Canadian Library Association on the great work it does. I am sure my colleagues in the House will join me in celebrating libraries and all those who work in them, recognizing the incredible range of resources and services they provide within our communities.

Doris ChampagneStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour for me to speak in the House as the representative for the people of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.

Today, I would like to highlight the extraordinary work done by volunteers in my riding, since they are the driving force behind our communities.

In particular, I would like to acknowledge the exceptional work of Doris Champagne, who was named volunteer of the year in Argenteuil. From a very early age, Mr. Champagne has volunteered to organize a number of activities to support the well-being of others in his community. He continues to work tirelessly to improve living conditions for seniors.

Mr. Champagne is president of Villa Mont-Joie in Lachute, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this October. Villa Mont-Joie, which has over 400 members, serves as a meeting place for retirees and pre-retirees in Lachute. Mr. Champagne is always working to enrich the lives of its members.

Mr. Champagne's long-time involvement in his community is an inspiration and an example to all volunteers in the community. Congratulations, Mr. Champagne. We wish you well.

Walter Borden-Wilkins, Matthew Deller, Tanner Hildebrand and Vincent StoverStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, mourning continues today in my community of Grande Prairie after a tragic automobile accident left four families grieving the loss of their sons, brothers and grandsons.

Late Friday night, five members of the Grande Prairie Composite High School football team were travelling home when they were struck by a speeding pickup truck.

By morning we learned that four of these young men had lost their lives and the fifth was being treated in a hospital in Edmonton.

Words fail us at times like this. There are no words to adequately express our sympathy for the families, friends and teammates. Our thoughts and prayers are with each one of them at this time of tragedy.

On behalf of myself, members of the House and the Government of Canada, I wish to express our most profound sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who grieve this tremendous loss. May they find some peace in the anguish and some hope in the grief.

Matthew, Vincent, Walter and Tanner will be remembered.

Canadian Wheat BoardStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is no business case for abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board, and members across find themselves in an untenable catch-22, because if we believe the minister's supposition that prairie farmers will make more money if they abolish the Canadian Wheat Board, then any prairie farmers in the Conservative caucus would find themselves in conflict of interest and therefore both duty bound and honour bound to recuse themselves not just from the vote we will be holding tonight, but from any debate that promotes the abolition of the Wheat Board.

They cannot have it both ways. If they believe the minister, then they cannot vote on it. If they accept our point of view that there is no provable material benefit for farmers from abolishing the Wheat Board, then it raises the question of why we would turn the rural prairie economy upside down and on its head if there is no advantage to prairie farmers.

It is a conflict of interest, plain and simple. I refer hon. members to section 8 of the code of conduct that governs all of us in this House.

Canadian Wheat BoardStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow farmers will gather in Lethbridge for a reunion. It will be a bittersweet time.

Nine years ago 13 farmers went to jail for a cause they believe in. Reports from October 31, 2002 said:

There were few dry eyes in front of the Lethbridge courthouse Halloween afternoon as 13 upstanding citizens hugged their loved ones and marched resolutely off to prison.

Premier Ralph Klein told the crow of 600, “When decent, hardworking Alberta farmers are willing to take the extreme measure of going to jail for the sake of fundamental freedoms, there's something wrong with the laws of the land. It's a system that has to be changed”.

That system is now being changed.

The Liberal government had persecuted these farmers in every way possible, bringing the resources of several government departments against individual Canadians. These farmers would not back down. They stood fearlessly for what they knew to be right, and they paid a huge price for it.

Tomorrow they will be meeting to celebrate our commitment to marketing freedom. Their sacrifice will not be in vain.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the CBC, an integral part of Canada's social fabric, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The CBC and Radio-Canada are our source for information and entertainment, a reflection of who we are and our social conscience.

Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut, Bobino et Bobinette, La Semaine verte, Moi et l'autre, Les Couche-tard, La P'tite Vie and, of course, hockey and the national news have all made an impact on our lives.

I have not even mentioned the radio—which is always there, always part of our day—or the Internet, which is increasingly present in our lives. Add to this the other TV networks, which include CBC News Network, Bold and Documentary, and it is easy to see why Pierre Karl is so jealous. As Bernard Derome would say, I predict that if the trend continues, in 25 years, the CBC will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The Liberal Party congratulates CBC/Radio-Canada on its 75th anniversary and says to the Conservatives, “Hands off our CBC.”

Ukrainian DayStatements by Members

October 24th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, 120 years ago the first immigrants from Ukraine landed in Halifax, having endured weeks at sea on the first leg of their epic journey, migrating to begin a new life in the wilds of the Canadian prairies, the untamed wilderness and unbroken land then called the Northwest Territories.

With herculean effort and indomitable pioneer spirit they persevered, cleared land, seeded crops and built their first homes from the very sod of the land they cleared. Families grew, churches were built and communities prospered.

Today we celebrate Ukrainian Day on Parliament Hill and celebrate the heritage of those early pioneers, people of resolute, determined will like my wife's great-grandfather, John P. Taschuk, who arrived with his wife Barbara and their two sons, Elia and Theodosie.

The 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry today celebrate the legacy of those first Ukrainian pioneers and the trek that began 120 years ago.

[Member spoke in Ukrainian]

Rick HansenStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour.

In 1985, Mr. Hansen set out on a 40,000 km tour in his wheelchair. For over two years, he wheeled through 34 countries on four continents. Inspired by his belief that “anything is possible”, he raised awareness around the world of the potential of people with disabilities. He raised $26 million, and every penny went to spinal cord injury research.

Although his dream to make the world more accessible and inclusive has not come true yet, Rick Hansen has contributed greatly to improving life for people with disabilities.

This Tuesday, Mr. Hansen will be on the Hill to mark the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour. It will truly be an honour for me to meet him during that ceremony.

Congratulations on this anniversary and long live the Rick Hansen Foundation.

Protection of ChildrenStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned about crime and gave our government a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe. There are few parts of that mandate more important than protecting the most vulnerable in our society, our children.

That is why our government has taken strong action to protect Canadians from pedophiles and sexual predators. We have strengthened the national sex offender registry, the DNA databank and our criminal record check system to ensure that sex offenders do not fall through the cracks.

We have also legislated mandatory reporting of child pornography by Internet service providers, and recently, in the safe streets and communities act, we proposed mandatory minimum sentences for those who commit sexual offences against children as well as an end to the shameful practice of allowing pardons for child molesters.

Shamefully, the opposition has obstructed these measures. I call on the NDP to start putting the rights of--

Protection of ChildrenStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member is out of time.

Oral questions, the hon. Leader of the Opposition.

TurkeyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all members of the House share the grief and pain of the Turkish people following Sunday's earthquake.

Can the government provide an update on the situation, on the assistance that is available to Canadian citizens in Turkey, and on how Canada can help if asked to do so by the Turkish government?

Can the government give us an update on Canada's response following the earthquake in Turkey?

TurkeyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians, this government shares concern with the events in Turkey and the recent earthquake. As members know, the Canadian government has at its disposal certain assets and resources that can be deployed to assist if we receive a request. As of this point in time, we have not yet received a request from the Turkish government for such assistance, but we are fortunate that we are in a position to be able to respond if necessary.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the F-35 saga continues. First we had delays and cost overruns; now the technical difficulties are mounting. We learned today that these fighter jets will be delivered to Canada without communications equipment that functions in the Arctic. That is really something. Pilots of military aircraft operating in the Arctic primarily use satellite communications, but that does not work with the F-35s.

How can this government continue to justify the F-35s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are going with the F-35 because it is the result of a competitive process that was carried out.

We are proposing to deliver to Canadian Forces the resources and equipment it needs to be able to protect Canadian sovereignty and security and to ensure that our defences are strong. The F-35 will have all the capabilities necessary to do so, including that primary, critically important mission of ensuring our northern sovereignty is protected.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, at what costs? This is incredible. The F-35s Canada is buying cannot be refuelled mid-air with existing air force equipment, and they cannot land on short runways in Canada's north. Now we learn that our brave pilots will not be able to communicate while patrolling our Arctic airspace. Can members believe this?

What will happen to “the True North strong and free” if we buy a jet that cannot operate in the Arctic?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition asked if I can believe that, and the answer is “no”. I cannot believe a single thing she said in that question, because those statements are all false. The reality is that we are delivering to our air force the resources it needs to do the best possible job. It will have capabilities that will be state of the art, the only fifth generation fighter of its kind.

We are going to ensure the air force can do the job that the opposition would rather it did not do.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the list of flaws with the F-35 is a long one. It includes bulkhead cracks, airflow problems, poor parts reliability, wing roll-off issues, drive shaft stretching and compressing, actuators burning too fast, defective lift fan, clutch and generator problems. The F-35s cannot even land on our short Arctic runways or communicate in the Canadian north, and the price tag per plane is double the government's claim.

Is the associate minister still planning on buying 65 of these things?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what is a stretch of credibility is that the member opposite and his party, on every occasion, take every chance they can to try to denigrate the efforts of this government to invest in the Canadian Forces.

With respect to the F-35, as was just stated, this is a state-of-the-art fifth generation aircraft that will provide us sovereignty in our north and the ability to be interoperable with our important partners, the United States of America and other partners within this program. The F-35 is the best plane for the best pilots in the Canadian air force.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no logical or reasonable explanation for the government's inflexibility on the F-35s. The government is stubbornly awarding a $30 billion contract for these jets without any kind of framework or bidding process. Not only was the process not transparent, but we now learn that the jets do not even work in the north.

Will Conservatives now admit that $150 million per piece is a bit expensive for a plane that does not even work?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again, the premise of the member's question is completely false, including the cost of this aircraft, which is $9 billion.

With respect to the operational requirements for communications in the north, this aircraft will have state of the art communications. We will not be taking receipt of the aircraft for another five years. We are working closely with the F-35 partners within the consortium to see that it has all of the operational capability for the 21st century.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, after listening to the government House leader and the Minister of National Defence, one is inclined to ask the question, exactly what new piece of information will it take for the government to realize that an open tendering process is now required to make sure we get the best possible plane at the best possible price?

I would say in praise of the Minister of National Defence that the process that was run on shipbuilding was tremendous. Why not do the same thing for the F-35s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as the member himself should know, there was a competitive process that resulted in the selection of the F-35. If he believes that process is deficient, that is a criticism of his own party which ran that process.

We acknowledge that the processes we are developing now made improvements and enhancements, but I can say that disrupting an already tendered process midstream is no way to create confidence among our military and among those who wish to bid for contracts. Part of playing by the rules is that one actually has to follow the rules once they are set.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are actually going to be able to have a discussion about facts. The government House leader's description of the process prior to the Harper government coming into office is in fact not correct.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!