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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Wheat Board has played an important role over the past 70 years, and it will continue to do so if the government is willing to pass the motion moved by the hon. member for Churchill. This motion calls for a free vote that would include everyone who is affected by this process.

This board works, is effective and gives everyone a fair price within an open market. We are simply saying that farmers should be given the opportunity to have a say on this issue.

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it takes a great deal of courage for a member of the Conservative Party to stand up and ask why that party is not listening to farmers. There are prairie grain wheat farmers who have voted in a plebiscite to say that they want to retain the Canadian Wheat Board and yet the government wants to get rid of it. I ask the member who posed the question, why are he and his government not listening to farmers?

Although evidence is important, it is not something the government gives an ounce of credibility to. There was an interesting report entitled, “Performance Evaluation of the Canadian Wheat Board” which came out in 1996. The authors were three professors from three major universities, the University of Manitoba, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta.

The report states:

The single-desk selling system in Canada is viewed as something that facilitates transactions and is regarded by Brazilian buyers as a key to the confidence and reliability of purchasing wheat from Canada.

There are so many wonderful reasons to keep the Canadian Wheat Board. It brings so much value to our prairie farmers. Would the member not agree that is the case?

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree.

There is strength in numbers. It is disappointing to hear the government say that opening the market will help farmers across the country. We need to join forces and give farmers the chance to have a clear say.

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle NDP Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Compton—Stanstead for his spirited and interesting speech.

The Conservatives are planning to abolish the Canadian Wheat Board. They also want to abolish the gun registry and creators' rights regarding private copying. In fact, they want to abolish anything that people use to protect themselves, if it resembles a collective in any way.

Will the Conservatives go down in history as the abolitionists of social democracy?

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for this wonderful question.

Uniting people for a common cause has always been a strength in our communities and in Canadian society. We become bigger and stronger when we work together. We can have a bigger impact on everyone's future. Solidarity is always far better than division.

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Before I call on the member for Windsor West to resume debate, I should let him know that I will have to interrupt his remarks at the top of the hour for statements by members.

The hon. member for Windsor West.

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the motion from the member for Churchill discussing a central principle of democracy, which is people having their rights, especially having their rights respected. It is bound from a tradition of legislation that has been duped by the government and usurped by the people who have the vehicle of the Canadian Wheat Board as part of their conditions of doing business and their investments, not only in terms of their businesses but their families.

It is important to note that Canada's current challenges stem from a lot of different issues related to our massive geography, our disperse population and a very diverse group of individuals and people across this country with different interests. In the 1920s, the farming community felt enough need to band together to create a collective to be able to compete in the open markets with the wheat product they were providing. It is important because there was motivation at that time to do so, which came about from their personal experiences and their understanding that if they could come together as a collective, at times it would be to their advantage.

We do that even to this day in many respects, and we have in this country in many other fora. The credit unions are an example. When it became impossible for the farming community or others to get access to credit that was reasonable and fair, people got together. Still to this day, in cities we have collectives of financing, accounting and services in the banking industry because the profits then go back to the people. They understand that together they do much better than they do alone.

We also do this when we form cities, municipalities and towns. Instead of having independent police or fire departments, everybody understands that if we work as a collective and pay a fee for this, then we will get that service and that insurance. This is about respecting a tradition that was set up in the 1920s.

In 1943, they went to the single-desk marketing. The legislation that was created for the Canadian Wheat Board calls for it to have vote if it wants to dissolve or change the concept that it has now. To be clear, this board does not bring in a profit for itself. It has democratically elected its members, ten of whom come from the farming community and four of whom are appointed by the government, and it chooses a chair. That is critically important because in the legislation from the government, it would not allow the democratically elected farmers to remain on the Canadian Wheat Board. It would appoint its own people to dismantle it and it would not allow the elected farmers to make those difficult choices, even if they did not want to and are forced to have this legislation.

The member for Churchill should be commended for this motion because it goes to an important piece, not only behind the Wheat Board, but understanding that legislation that was a protectiveness chamber, that was here and there are expectations toward it, would be dismantled. That could set a pattern for other legislation. The government is saying that it says that but that it will disregard that altogether.

The member also needs to be commended because there has been a plebiscite with 63% of farmers saying that they would like to keep the Canadian Wheat Board. The farmers have had their vote and they were very clear on that mandate. The Conservatives often talk about having a clear mandate from the Canadian people when they only had 38% of the vote. That is unacceptable. Their 38%, which we hear daily in the House of Commons at question period, ad nauseam, seems to make some type of a mandate for an absolute majority of everything from legislation to discourse that happens not only in this chamber but also in our committees. However, the reality is that Canadian farmers were far louder when they said that they did not want to dismantle the Wheat Board.

When we look at some of the economics of this, with an economy that is fragile right now, world markets in a turmoil and a great deal of uncertainty coming up, why would the government actually do this without an action plan? There has been no study or analysis. We do that as a regular business. Cities and towns do that before making multi-million dollar contracts, awards and services. However, meanwhile, we would have billions of dollars tied up in the future and we are not even seeing an economic analysis presented before us, which is unfortunate because it shows the reckless abandon of ideology that the Conservatives have and the reckless nature of their intent to ram this through as fast as they can. I believe they want to do so because of electoral timing. They want to tear down the Wheat Board and bring in the different changes that will take place before the next election.

Once again, farmers have been out there saying that they would prefer to keep this as the particular option right now. There could be a further debate among farmers about what they want to do. I know in Ontario they had that debate and they had that choice. However, they had that debate first, which was much more effective than what is taking place here.

All the member for Churchill is doing is defending the rights of those individuals who have the system in place that they have invested in. They have invested their families, their money and their lifelong interest into their farms and to have that thrown to the wind without an economic analysis and without the due diligence necessary is completely unacceptable.

It is important to go back to the 63% of people who responded. There has been a debate about the type of plebiscite that took place and the different types of problems that they faced. We should go to the suggestion by the member for Churchill to have that educated, earnest attempt to let farmers understand the consequences of what is going to take place, to know them and to face them in a very strategic way. However, we need to do so in a responsible way before we undermine ourselves, our country and our farmers, especially when they have the right to make the destiny for themselves, not have it imposed on them by others.

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat BoardBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The member for Windsor West will have three minutes remaining for his speech and five minutes for questions and comments when the House resumes debate on the motion.

DiwaliStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is a special day for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Tomorrow marks the holy day of Diwali, the Festival of Lights. It is a joyous celebration of good over evil, light over darkness.

The foundation and meanings of Diwali can be shared by Canadians of all faiths. This holy day is often observed with the lighting of an oil lamp, the setting off of fireworks and the generous giving of gifts and sweets. These traditions bring families, friends and loved ones closer together under the values of peace and friendship. Diwali is a time that reminds us all about the incredible contribution toward this great country by Indo-Canadians.

I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of my constituents of Brampton—Springdale, to extend my most sincere best wishes for a happy, healthy and joyous Diwali to all those celebrating around the world.

Status of WomenStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week there was an article in a weekly paper in my riding about the status of women in Fermont. The article confirmed what everyone already knows: violence; verbal, physical and sexual abuse; geographic isolation and distress are commonplace for women in Fermont.

During a recent visit to my riding, I witnessed the extent of the social tragedy currently playing out in Fermont when I met with staff at the shelter that provides assistance to women. This centre has seen a 300% increase in demand for its services over the past year. The cost of living in the region has also increased.

These women have had enough. I am calling on the Minister for Status of Women to come up with a contingency plan and concrete assistance measures for isolated regions experiencing an economic boom, in order to fund projects that provide a safe place and housing for women. The women of Fermont also have a right to health as well as physical and economic safety.

Norman LalondeStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have some very sad news to tell this House. Cornwall's own “Mr. Canada” has died. Norm Lalonde, who single-handedly began Canada Day festivities in Cornwall, has, unfortunately, passed away.

In the early 1970s, Norm took it upon himself to celebrate Canada's birthday. He gathered together about 200 residents, cooked some hot dogs, let off some fireworks and led everyone in the singing of Canada's national anthem.

From that very humble beginning, Norm grew this event into one of the largest celebrations in eastern Ontario. Today, crowds of 25,000 to 30,000 proud Canadians regularly turn up at Lamoureux Park on July 1 every year to celebrate Canada's birthday.

We owe all this to “Mr. Canada”, as Norm was affectionately known in Cornwall.

Our condolences go out to his wife and greatest supporter, Thérèse, and his children, David, Patricia, Stephen and Norm Jr.

God bless Mr. Canada.

Rick HansenStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the kickoff of the 25th Anniversary Relay in honour of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour. Some 7,000 participants will retrace the Canadian portion of the gruelling journey completed 25 years ago by an extraordinary man who wanted to make the world a better place, inspire Canadians and help people with spinal cord injuries.

This relay will remind us all of the importance of investing in research for effective cures to help improve the lives of thousands upon thousands of Canadians.

Rick Hansen has been an exemplary role model for our society, having inspired so very many of us to surpass ourselves over the past quarter century. It is with profound admiration and gratitude that we recognize today the depth of his contribution to Canada and to medical research around the world. With that in mind, this year, relay participants will proudly carry the Rick Hansen Medal as it makes its way across the country.

I wish everyone involved with the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary relay tremendous success.

Capital ExperienceStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a special group of students in Ottawa today participating in a program I call a “Capital Experience”, wherein student leaders from each of the seven high schools in my riding come to Ottawa for three days each year to learn about career opportunities in public life.

They have visited Parliament, the South Korean Embassy, Amnesty International, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the press gallery, the University of Ottawa and Summa Strategies.

I wish to thank those who shared their time with these students and thank the businesses and services clubs that sponsored them.

Today, I welcome to Parliament: Katelyn Lloyd and Iain Sullivan from Brock; Chad Leroux and Matthew Steele from Crestwood; Meredith March and Amber Wilson from Fenelon Falls; Samantha Brixi and Puru Shah from Haliburton; Samantha Thompson, Alec Becking and Dan Lowe from I.E. Weldon; Megan Connell and Mandi Manderson from L.C.V.I.; Courtney Kavanagh, Keira Mann and Robert Ridenaur from St. Thomas Aquinas; and Kali Tucker from Apsley.

I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing these young people all the best as they make decisions regarding their future careers.

Jean-Marc AubinStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, for over 30 years, Jean-Marc Aubin has been an ardent defender of education rights for francophones and has dedicated himself to developing French-language services.

Mr. Aubin was a founding member of Collège Boréal and president of the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario. In the 1990s, he was president of the French language section and, under his leadership, that section carved out its own unique place in the region and in the province. Mr. Aubin is currently the chair of the Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario. He is always ready to bring forward innovative projects to benefit students and the francophone community.

In November 2010, he was awarded the Jean-Robert Gauthier prize for his outstanding contribution. In May 2011, he was decorated with the Ordre de la Pléiade, an honour bestowed by the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie.

Mr. Aubin continues to focus on and promote the rights of Franco-Ontarians. I am pleased and very proud to rise today to congratulate Jean-Marc Aubin.

DiwaliStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, October 26, 2011, marks the celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, and Bandi Chhorh Divas around the world. A holiday in India, Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

I would personally like to wish happy Diwali not only to people in India or people of Indian descent but to all Canadians. Canadians of Indian origin would like to thank their parliamentarians for sharing in the celebration of Diwali on Parliament Hill for many years.

This year as we celebrate 2011 as the Year of India in Canada, there is an opportunity to learn more about the richness of Indian culture. As Canada and India continue to forge closer ties economically, we also see the contribution the vibrant Indo-Canadian community has made to the fabric of Canada.

On behalf of the constituents of Calgary Northeast and my family, I wish all of my colleagues a very happy Diwali and Bandi Chhorh Divas.

Hunting SeasonStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, fall is a special time of the year in Renfrew County. It is a time of traditional heritage activities as the days get shorter and the nights grow longer.

Farmers are finishing up with the fall harvest, loggers are preparing to go into the bush for the winter cut. It is a time for church suppers and getting caught up with neighbours at craft fairs and bazaars as we ready for winter and, best of all, it is hunting season in the Ottawa Valley.

For the first time in over 15 years, law-abiding sportsmen, thanks to our Conservative government, can look forward to doing what they have always done without the heavy, oppressive hand of big government on their shoulders.

There is a new attitude in Ottawa. It is one that respects the rights of individuals to enjoy lawful activities without passing judgment and constantly telling people what they can and cannot do.

In the great riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke we value our freedom, and when it is fall, it is hunting season in the Ottawa Valley.

Community Care and Home CareStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today in the House to acknowledge the exemplary work of Aide à la communauté et services à domicile, a community care and home care agency based in my riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent that serves the entire greater Quebec City area.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of this non-profit organization, which in that time has served almost 15,000 people in need by providing them with almost one million hours of care. It has created almost 1,500 jobs, not to mention all the young people it has reintegrated into the workforce. Today I am proud to recognize their contribution to our society.

Community groups play an essential role. To the extraordinary people who are the backbone of our society, people like Linda Couture, the founder and managing director of this care agency, and her entire team of dedicated employees and volunteers, we wish a happy 25th anniversary.

Multiple SclerosisStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw the attention of the House to 20 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada staff and volunteers who are in Ottawa today to raise awareness on the importance of continued MS research in Canada.

MS affects thousands of Canadians and is a disease for which there is presently no cure. This disease knows no bounds. It affects young and old, male and female alike. It not only affects people living with the disease but also their families and caregivers, health care professionals, researchers and people who fight against MS.

Our government is investing in research such as funding and developing an MS monitoring system, providing new tax support for caregivers, and working closely with provincial and territorial governments, medical associations and the MS Society of Canada.

Close collaboration will help ensure that people living with MS and their caregivers get the support and advice they need to ensure they have the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life.

I encourage all members of the House to support programs that more directly meet the needs of the people affected by MS today and advance research to help us find a cure for tomorrow.

DiwaliStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, Diwali is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past year, to look forward and plan for the future with renewed optimism. Many people in my riding of Newton—North Delta, including myself, will gather with family and friends to give thanks, to celebrate and to contemplate.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, celebrates the light within each of us as we welcome the coming new year. It is a time where hearts are filled with joy and minds look forward to the bright new future.

Every Canadian can share in hope for the future. We pride ourselves on our openness and we strive to build an inclusive society.

We are not there yet. We must draw on the good within each of us, to open our hearts and minds, and increase our understanding of one another. At this time, let us all recommit to this goal.

On behalf of my NDP colleagues, Diwali aur naya saal mubarak. Best wishes for Diwali and a happy new year. I wish everyone celebrating this special occasion right around the globe the very best.

World Food ProgramStatements by Members

October 25th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the number of people suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition grows due to crises resulting from conflicts, natural disasters and poverty, it is even more important than ever to help those in need.

Today, we welcome to Canada Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, and I am proud that Canada is the second-biggest donor to the World Food Program.

For more than a half century, the World Food Program has been on the front lines of major food crises around the world, providing food to those who need it most. Today, the WFP is playing a crucial role in East Africa, using all means available to deliver food to the more than 13 million people affected by drought.

Canada and the WFP are working together to put an end to famine among the most vulnerable populations.

Multiple SclerosisStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, Multiple Sclerosis Society volunteers and staff from across the country, including from my own constituency of Vancouver Centre, are on the Hill today.

As a doctor, I know about the often devastating effects that multiple sclerosis can have on patients as well as their entire family and their caregivers. Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating lifelong disease that affects approximately 75,000 Canadians. Three new cases will be diagnosed today.

That is why the Liberal Party of Canada calls for urgent clinical trials on CCSVI to ensure that MS patients have the best possible evidence-based care.

The issue of caregivers is also an important one for MS patients. It is imperative that this House works toward giving them the financial support and resources they need to be cared for at home as long as possible.

I ask the House to applaud all of the volunteers on the Hill today. They deserve it.

TaxationStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP interim leader thinks anyone who has a tax-free savings account is wealthy, but 6.7 million Canadians have tax-free savings accounts. That is a lot of NDP taxation targets.

The NDP thinks anyone who plans for their future and saves their own money is wealthy. It not only wants to hike income, sales and business taxes, but now it has also set its sights on Canadians' hard-earned tax free savings.

Our Conservative government brought in tax-free savings accounts to provide greater incentives for Canadians, especially low and modest income individuals, to save. Our government deliberately set up the TFSAs to ensure that income in, and withdrawals from them, would not affect eligibility for federal income-tested benefits and credits.

While the NDP embarks on its latest tax-grabbing scheme, our government will continue to occupy the side of Canadian taxpayers.

By attacking Canadians' savings, the NDP members have proven yet again that they are simply not fit to--

TaxationStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Burnaby--New Westminster.

FirefightersStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the annual firefighters' legislative outreach, where firefighters from across Canada come to Parliament to raise critical issues for public safety. For 14 years they have asked for the creation of a public safety officer compensation fund.

In 2005 the NDP brought forth this issue as a private member's motion. New Democrats and Conservatives voted 161 to 112 to establish the fund, yet, six years later it has yet to be put in place.

We can think of no better time than this year's firefighters' lobby for the government to announce that it will finally do what Parliament mandated six years ago.

Every year an average of 10 firefighters die in the line of duty to protect the public and save lives. They pay the ultimate price. Their families make a tremendous sacrifice and far too often suffer enormous financial hardship.

Today we rise in the House to pay tribute to the firefighters of Canada for their selflessness and sacrifice.

Today we renew our pledge to work to establish a public safety officer compensation fund for our nation's firefighters and police officers. Their courage is exemplary. They deserve no less.

Firearms RegistryStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, today is a huge day in our government's commitment to eliminate the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

I personally would like to thank the Prime Minister and our caucus for their support over the years as we exposed what a sham this registry is. For me, this is like payday after almost 18 years of exposing the registry as having nothing to do with effective gun control measures.

Canadians have recognized that the long gun registry is a waste of taxpayers' money. They replaced the member for Ajax—Pickering with a strong Conservative voice. They replaced the member for Yukon with a strong Conservative voice. They replaced the member for Nipissing—Timiskaming with a strong Conservative voice.

Those defeated MPs listened to their Ottawa bosses rather than their constituents. In fact, this issue was important in giving Canada a strong, stable, majority Conservative government.

Finally, long gun owners in Canada will no longer be unfairly targeted by a wasteful, paper-pushing exercise.