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House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member will have three minutes to finish his speech after question period. We will now move on to statements by members.

Greek CommunityStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today as a proud Canadian of Hellenic descent. It was on this day, on October 28, 1940, that the Greek people stood up for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law by loudly professing a resounding oxi, no, to the fascists that were enacting the brutality all over Europe.

For a small nation of just over 7.2 million people at the time, this was a difficult decision, for the world knew all too well the onslaught and massacre that was to follow. This courageous stance by the Greek people resulted in the loss of 805,000 lives or 11.5% of the country's population.

Today Canadians from coast to coast to coast stand with the Greek community and with all veterans in remembrance of all those who sacrificed so much for the rights and freedoms that we all enjoy.

Yamaska Immigration ServicesStatements by Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest NDP Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to talk about the exemplary work of Solidarité ethnique régionale de la Yamaska, or SERY, a non-profit organization in my riding.

SERY's mission is to welcome immigrants and help them integrate into society, and to promote intercultural ties while respecting the values of the host community. Newcomers receive assistance from staff for the first five years. Acceptance and respect for cultural diversity are the team's strengths. SERY's motto is to never judge someone without walking five kilometres in their shoes.

This week, SERY put on its annual show featuring performances by newcomers. There were over 800 people in the audience. On behalf of the people of Shefford and all the members in the House, I congratulate SERY on its success.

SnowbirdsStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, on October 21, I watched pilots and technicians work as a team to bring the 41st season of the Snowbirds to a close. The Snowbirds are the famed Canadian icon that thrills audiences across North America every year with their aerial ballet. Representing the skill, professionalism and teamwork of the Canadian Forces, the Snowbirds are an inspiration to Canadians.

This past season was themed “Our Canadian Heroes”, to recognize the sacrifices made by members of the Canadian Forces and their families. Members of the Canadian Forces are often deployed to harsh conditions away from their loved ones. Their sacrifices cannot be measured, but we must do our best to recognize and appreciate their commitment.

I encourage people to check out a Snowbirds show as they pass through their hometowns next year.

Religious FreedomStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party of Canada continues to stand up for the rights of religious minorities and for the universal right to religious freedom for all faiths.

Last night, the Liberal Party of Canada once again stood up to tell the government and the world that the atrocities facing Coptic Christians in Egypt could not be allowed to continue. Through the tireless work of the Liberal MP for Scarborough—Agincourt, along with others in the Liberal caucus and party, including the distinguished member for Mount Royal, the issue of the persecution of Christians has been raised repeatedly by our members on the floor of the House of Commons.

The Coptic Christian faith in Canada is a robust and positive force in Canadian society and Canadian neighbourhoods. In the home of the Coptic faith in Egypt, Coptic Christians have preached peace for centuries, yet they have been persecuted and murdered for their faith and seemingly all but abandoned by those with a duty to protect.

Let us never forget that Coptic Christians are among the original Egyptians who now willingly share their land for one Egypt. Coptic Christianity is one of the oldest religions in all of Egypt, which persevered by the faith of its members and by—

Religious FreedomStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Etobicoke Centre.

The Lincoln and Welland RegimentStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend a great Niagara regiment with a lineage reaching back to the War of 1812, the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, held a parade and memorial service in honour of the battle of Bergen-op-Zoom, fought in October of 1944. As this date falls near Remembrance Day, members of the Lincoln and Welland annually commemorate this battle as part of their active remembrance and regimental reunion.

The battle was one of the defining events in the history of this great regiment, and the valour displayed by the soldiers during the fight that took place marked it as one of the best battalions in the Canadian line. The operations in and around Bergen-op-Zoom were part of the campaign by the Canadian army to clear the Scheldt estuary in order to open the Port of Antwerp. These operations were crucial to the Allied cause. The port facilities of Antwerp were captured intact and the Scheldt estuary cleared for the Allied operations to continue.

The regiment's motto is “Non Nobis Sed Patriae”, meaning “Not for ourselves but for our country”. God bless the Lincoln and Welland Regiment.

Joliette Soup KitchenStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to take this opportunity to pay a glowing tribute to the directors and volunteers of La Tablée Joliette.

Founded in 1981 by the Clerics of Saint-Viateur, the soup kitchen is a non-profit organization that prepares and distributes 5,000 to 6,000 free meals each year to people in need in my riding.

I was able to see first-hand the exceptional work accomplished by this community organization by helping the volunteers over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

I would like to recognize the involvement of the soup kitchen's president, Raymond Veillette, and his team of volunteers, which include Marie-Pauline Blake, Léonie Ferland, Julie Cornellier, Diane Fournier and Alain-Bruno Bonin.

These people prove that the battle against hunger and poverty is a collective effort, and they deserve all the support we can give them.

Republic of TurkeyStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on October 23, the eastern province of Van in Turkey was struck by a powerful and devastating earthquake. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured. Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with the Turkish people during this difficult time.

Today Turkey, a friend of Canada, is celebrating the 88th anniversary of its foundation. On October 29, 1923, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk proclaimed the modern Republic of Turkey.

Our two countries enjoy a solid friendship that transcends the economic and political domain. We are partnered bilaterally and multilaterally through organizations such as NATO and the G20, and thousands of Canadians of Turkish origin contribute invaluably to Canadian society.

On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate Turkey and the Turkish people in celebrating the creation of their modern state. May the future bring peace and prosperity to Turkey and all its citizens.

Agri-Trade ExpositionStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am excited to announce the 28th annual Agri-Trade Exposition that will take place in my riding November 9 to 12.

The Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, the Westerner Exposition Association and the driving force behind the expo, Pat Kennedy, are all to be thanked for this year's upcoming success.

This year's theme is “International Agriculture Products and Service”, fitting, as we welcome the U.S. commerce department as one of our 450 exhibitors.

People can come to the Fortis Learning Stage to discuss agriculture ideas, technology, programs and new green initiatives; talk to experts from across the nation to get answers to various farming questions; attend seminars about crops, fertilizing, grain quality; and much more. There will even be a comedian, prizes and student bursaries awarded throughout the expo.

Therefore, I invite all hon. members to come down to Red Deer's Westerner Park and experience a one-of-a-kind exhibition that will cultivate their minds.

Prime Minister's Award for Teaching ExcellenceStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am so very honoured today to say how proud I am that two teachers in my riding of Scarborough Southwest are recipients of this year's prestigious Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence.

One of those is Lynn Wilkins, an elementary school teacher at Courcelette Public School. Ms. Wilkins' accomplishments are simply too numerous to mention here. Her sustainable building project integrates many different subjects with a view to teaching students the importance of the environment and sustainable development. Another of her projects teaches students to build an NGO from the group up.

If this is not enough, her students raised thousands of dollars to assist in building a school in Haiti, support the World Wildlife Fund and help the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

Our community is truly privileged to have such a dedicated, enthusiastic and innovative teacher working in our schools.

I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Ms. Wilkins on receiving the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence and thank her for the commitment she demonstrates on a daily basis to the students at Courcelette Public School.

Prime Minister's Award for Teaching ExcellenceStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I also rise today to honour two teachers in my riding who were recognized recently for their ingenuity, innovation and dedication to education by their students, colleagues and parents.

On October 5, Shirley Dalrymple and Scott Masters were recognized for their leadership with the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence.

Shirley is a math teacher at Thornhill Secondary School. She has given 20 years to the profession and has fascinated thousands of young minds through her integration of technology to make learning fun and interesting for her pupils.

Scott, a history teacher at Crestwood Preparatory School, brings history to life for his students by working with local veterans and students to digitize the stories of veterans with interviews, photos and documents to ensure their stories will always be heard and never forgotten.

I congratulate Shirley and Scott for their selection as recipients of this award. I look forward to seeing more great educators from Don Valley East on the list of recipients next year.

Jimmy LomaxStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 9, Hamilton's Santa Claus, Jimmy Lomax, passed away at his home.

Known throughout our community for his immense generosity and kindness, Jimmy and his wife Susan were the heart and soul of Operation Santa Claus, a charitable organization they founded in 1958 to help collect and distribute gifts to underprivileged families throughout Hamilton.

Jimmy's dedication to helping the less fortunate earned him numerous recognitions, including Hamilton's Distinguished Citizen of the Year, the Queen's Jubilee Medal, the Ontario Medal for Outstanding Citizenship and our highest honour, the Order of Canada.

Jimmy is also extremely deserving of the Hamilton's children's park that will be named in his honour in the coming weeks. Christmas in Hamilton just will not be same without Santa Jimmy.

On behalf of all hon. members, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Lomax family. Jimmy's dedication to helping children, especially during the holiday season, was an inspiration to all, and he will be greatly missed.

World Cup KabbadiStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me immense pleasure to inform the House that Kabbadi Team Canada will be participating in the second World Cup Kabbadi in Punjab, India.

Across various districts in the state of Punjab from November 1 to November 20, 2011, this mega sports event will feature the participation of 14 countries, including Canada.

I would like to congratulate the organizers and officials who worked tirelessly for our Team Canada, including Joga Kang, Onkar Grewal, Paramjit Deol, Sukhpal Rathaul, Sukh Pandher, and Gurjeet Singh.

On behalf of my constituents of Brampton—Springdale and all Canadians, we are proud of Kabbadi Team Canada and wish them all the success in the world.

Harold HuskilsonStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians were saddened this week to learn of the passing of a truly great man, Harold Huskilson.

Mr. Huskilson, who was 91, was committed to his community and his province. He was a lifelong member of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, the Trinity United Church and the Beacon United Church. He was also a charter member of the Shelburne Kinsman Club, the Royal Canadian Legion and an active member of the Masonic Lodge.

Mr. Huskilson served on both the Shelburne Town Council and the Yarmouth Town Council. He was then elected to the House of Assembly as MLA for Shelburne and served in a number of key ministerial posts over a 23-year career.

He worked tirelessly to bring investment and attention to his corner of the province and will be remembered as a man who was there to assist anyone in need.

I know all members will join me in extending our sincere condolences to the Huskilson family.

The CommonwealthStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the 16 Commonwealth leaders have agreed to a proposal to amend the rules governing the line of succession to the throne. No longer will it matter if an heir's first-born is a boy or a girl.

Obvious modernizations will help the crown to remain an institution that reflects the values of Canadians and all realms of the Commonwealth that have Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as our head of state.

Since the founding of the Commonwealth in 1931, our common heritage has united us. However, the Commonwealth has become more than just about common history. Our common values flow from that history; principles such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law also unite us. From this background, we draw our Westminster system of responsible government. We believe in principles that deserve universal application.

Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, there is still not universal acceptance of these principles.

As the Prime Minister said, the Commonwealth is a “noble aspiration”.

God save the Queen.

Parks CanadaStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. minister responsible for Parks Canada recently declared that Sable Island would become a national wildlife area, which in itself is good.

However, this past spring, the same minister cut 56% of the financial support for a number of organizations responsible for safeguarding existing wildlife areas, such as the Baie de l'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area, which is in my riding and which has been doing remarkable work for decades. What is even more ironic is that this government said that its economic plan would include expanding national parks. This raises some questions.

Does the government plan on increasing the number of wildlife areas while still making massive cuts to financial support? Is the government aware of the negative impact such a policy will have on tourism and on Canada's image abroad? We have to assume that the answer is no, this government is not aware of its bad choices when it comes to the environment and the sustainable economy.

Auditor GeneralStatements by Members

October 28th, 2011 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I know that my constituents and fellow New Brunswickers are outraged at the comments made by the Liberal leader just yesterday on Canada's next Auditor General.

According to the Liberal leader and the Liberal Party, they believe that working in New Brunswick does not qualify for some of the bigger jobs in Toronto or Ottawa. Might I remind the Liberal leader and the Liberal Party that New Brunswick is Canada's only officially bilingual province.

Mr. Ferguson's outstanding performance as New Brunswick's auditor general and deputy minister of finance, according to the Liberal Party, is no experience for the job. That is outrageous.

I call upon the Liberal Party to formally apologize to Mr. Ferguson and all the residents of my home province for this insulting attack.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that the government has decided to take the same strategy it is using with the gun registry and apply it to the Canadian navy: invest billions of dollars in procurement, only to throw it all out. The Victoria, the Corner Brook, the Windsor and the Chicoutimi are being thrown in the trash.

Can the government confirm that it is getting rid of the Victoria-class submarines?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

No, Mr. Speaker. Our government is investing to ensure that we have the ideal mix of naval capacities to protect Canada's sovereignty. We intend to continue working with the Canadian Forces to guarantee the best level of service in order to protect Canada's sovereignty.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it appears the government has already begun to move. Here is what the Minister of National Defence had to say this week, “In an ideal world, I know nuclear subs are what's needed--”.

We can all agree the Liberals did a terrible job when they bought the Victoria class subs. Canadians were misled about their true costs and capabilities. What Canadians wanted then and what they want today is certainty.

Would the Conservatives confirm that their government is really ready to go down a multi-billion dollar rabbit hole of nuclear submarines?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the quick answer to that is, no. I think the hon. member has to be wary of relying unduly on misleading reports from the CBC.

What is true is that our government is investing in the right mix and balance for our forces to have a naval capacity necessary to defend and protect Canada's sovereignty on all our ocean frontiers.

I can tell members and reassure the hon. member that there is no plan to replace the diesel-electric fleet purchased by the Liberals.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems quite clear that the Conservatives have absolutely no plans for military procurement. This situation with the submarine fleet reeks of improvisation. In terms of our air force, the Conservatives' decision to purchase F-35s is making less and less sense. Even the government is starting to realize it.

Will the government reconsider its untendered purchase of F-35s?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our commitment has been, clearly, to give our Canadian Forces members, including those in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the equipment they need to do the job well. The fact is, and reasonable people agree, we need to have new aircraft. The current CF-18s are, of course, aging aircraft that have been around for quite some time.

We are moving forward, together with our allies, with the only fifth generation fighter of its kind. The F-35 is something that offers stealth capability and will protect our Canadian airmen and airwomen, so that they will be able to do their job protecting our sovereignty in the safest and most effective fashion possible.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the pressure is mounting against the purchase of F-35s. Today, we learned that the Minister of National Defence is increasingly offside from other cabinet members and the Prime Minister's Office. Why? Because the F-35 does not work in the Arctic and is plagued by delays. It is wildly over budget, and the list goes on and on.

Will the government finally stop its F-35 boondoggle before it is just too late?