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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was illness.

Topics

World Sight DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House to highlight the launch of World Sight Day 2011 and notably visitors in Ottawa participating in this great occasion, including members of VISION 2020 Canada and Mark DeMontis, a blind hockey player currently en route in-line skating from Halifax to Toronto.

October 13 is World Sight Day, an international day of awareness to focus attention on the right to sight, recognizing the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, in anticipation of eliminating avoidable causes by the year 2020.

Worldwide, an estimated 39 million people are blind and each year more than 45,000 Canadians lose their vision at a cost of $15.8 billion to Canadian taxpayers, and yet 80% of blindness is avoidable. Positive progress is being made and infectious causes of blindness have greatly reduced over the past 20 years.

I am proud to say the launch of World Sight Day 2011 has members and senators from all parties supporting VISION 2020's goal. I hope both sides can continue this co-operation for Canadians.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Nearly six million Canadians are likely to experience a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetime. That is one in five Canadians, and yet the federal and provincial governments have downsized institutional care while not increasing community based services.

My riding is home to British Columbia's primary mental health facility, Riverview Hospital. This nearly 100 year-old facility is home to one of Canada's best arboretums and numerous heritage buildings. Instead of investing in this facility and supporting its development as a mental health sanctuary and residential treatment and diagnostic facility for people with mental illness, the provincial and federal governments have closed many of the buildings and allowed this facility to fall into disrepair.

We know the way forward to combatting the stigma associated with mental illness is providing proper care. We have the ability to make Riverview a centre of excellence in mental health and wellness in this country.

Today, during Mental Illness Awareness Week, I call upon the federal government to commit to mental health, bridge the gap in service for those with severe mental illness and invest in Riverview.

LacrosseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to congratulate the Brampton Excelsiors Senior Men's Lacrosse Team for bringing home the 2011 Mann Cup. This is the Excelsiors' 11th time winning this Canadian national championship title, including three out of the past four years.

On September 12, the Excelsiors claimed the Mann Cup with a 6-3 victory over the Langley Thunder. I know my colleague, the member for Langley, was disappointed, but I understand it was their first time in the championship and I commend them on their effort.

Lacrosse has been known as Canada's national game since 1859, making it a fundamental part of our culture, tradition and heritage. It is wonderful to see lacrosse producing some of the finest athletes in sports today.

I once again applaud the Excelsiors and wish them continued success. I look forward to seeing them bring home many more victories to Brampton.

Go Excelsiors, go!

Forest IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure and honour to announce the reopening of the Big River sawmill by Carrier Forest Products in Big River, Saskatchewan. This mill complex will create over 100 jobs in Big River and the surrounding area, and many more in harvesting, transportation and the reforestation industries.

This is fantastic news. Mills and forestry industries provide jobs and financial growth in my riding in northern Saskatchewan. It heartens me to see that the Big River mill will be up and running and contributing to the financial growth of our Canadian economy. This mill will also have the opportunity to market its products overseas with the many trade agreements our government has brokered.

The forest industry in Saskatchewan and Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River clearly has a bright future ahead.

Star Académie CompetitionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge three young women from my riding who are participating in the Star Académie competition: Kelly Blais from Paquetville, Joannie Benoît from Tracadie-Sheila, and Annabelle Doucet from Nigadoo.

In the first round of auditions, Kelly, Joannie and Annabelle were chosen from more than 5,000 people. Last Thursday, in Montreal, Kelly was selected by the judges and earned a spot among the semifinalists. This week, it is Joannie's turn to go on stage for a chance to become a semifinalist. Annabelle will also have the opportunity to show off her talent and earn one of the 30 spots in the semifinals.

Just like Wilfred LeBouthillier and Annie Blanchard, you are proof that Acadie—Bathurst has talent. Therefore, I would like to wish you the best of luck and tell you that we are all behind you. Your families and friends and our community take great pride in supporting your achievements.

Sikh CommunityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, a British Columbian is making history yet again. Last month, Lieutenant Colonel Harjit Singh Sajjan became the first Sikh in Canada to take command of a regiment, the British Columbia Regiment.

Canada's Sikh community has a proud history of brave military service. Canadian Sikh soldiers have fought in every major Canadian war since World War I, where a Sikh Canadian soldier was wounded at Vimy Ridge.

Lieutenant Colonel Sajjan, a former police officer, is the best and most recent example of how our Sikh community is contributing to our great country.

I am very proud to stand today on behalf of my party and my constituents and congratulate Lieutenant Colonel Harjit Singh Sajjan, a true hero, and thank him for all he has done. He has made us all very proud.

Mark DeMontisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Sight Day and I would like to highlight the contribution of a very courageous and determined individual. Mark DeMontis is a young man who lost his sight at the age of 17 as a result of a rare illness, Leber optic neuropathy. Nevertheless, he does not hesitate to devote his time to Courage Canada. Since 2009, Mark has been in-line skating from Halifax to Toronto to raise money to start blind hockey clubs, such as the Montreal Hiboux.

Through his campaign, he hopes to raise the public's awareness of Courage Canada's objectives, which include giving visually impaired people the opportunity to participate in our national sport. Today is the 52nd day of his annual journey. I invite the members of the House to meet Mark and congratulate him this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on the steps of Parliament. I would like to warmly congratulate Mark DeMontis on his involvement and on his remarkable accomplishments.

Conference on Women's Economic EmpowermentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to inform the House of a very important event taking place in Ottawa this week. Thanks to the initiative of the Minister of International Cooperation, CIDA and UN Women are co-hosting a conference on women's economic empowerment.

This conference will bring together entrepreneurs, politicians, researchers and industry and business leaders to find concrete ways to support business opportunities and to improve the security of women around the world.

Our government understands that both long-term, sustainable economic growth and social progress require the full participation of women.

The participants here in Ottawa represent a diverse group of women and men. Their deliberations will identify concrete ways for women to participate in the economy and strengthen their economic security and rights.

I would like to welcome all the conference participants and wish them the utmost success in their discussions on this incredibly important issue to women around the globe.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Nearly six million Canadians will likely suffer mental illness in their lifetimes. Mental illness is not limited to age, socio-economic status or gender, but we know that some groups are disproportionately affected in our society. The causes of mental illness are biological, social, psychological and spiritual.

The stigma of mental illness forces patients and their families into the shadows, ashamed to speak out or seek treatment, yet the associated high risk of suicide and substance abuse demands early intervention.

Unfortunately, in Canada far fewer resources are dedicated to research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness than to physical disease.

It is time to bring mental illness into the same prominence as physical disease in the health care continuum as core necessary services under the Canada Health Act.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to take fair, reasonable and tough action to prevent the abuse of Canada's immigration system by human smugglers. Canada has a long tradition of opening its doors to those who work hard and play by the rules. However, we must crack down on those who seek to take advantage of our generosity. That is exactly what the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act does.

Yesterday the NDP member for Honoré-Mercier stated that in bringing forward this bill, Canada was acting as a torturer. I am appalled at such language from Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Our country has a strong and proud record of supporting human rights at home and abroad.

I call on NDP members to stop using such inappropriate language for political gain among their radical socialist base and to finally stop putting the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of law-abiding Canadians.

National Quebec Women's Centres DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Sana Hassainia NDP Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to highlight National Quebec Women's Centres Day. On the first Tuesday of October since 2003, we have collectively celebrated the contributions these organizations have made in our communities. These centres truly are unparalleled community resources. They provide assistance to women in need and often serve as a refuge for women in distress. The workers in these organizations also contribute to Quebec's economic development by offering training to help women rejoin the workforce.

Although they face many challenges, this year, these pioneers are celebrating National Quebec Women's Centres Day with the theme of “Feminist for the fun of it”. They remind us that the fight for equality is above all a fight of love, optimism and hope. I am very pleased to salute their courage and determination.

On behalf of all Quebec women, I thank you for helping to create a just society, and I would like to take this opportunity to call on the government to show solidarity by restoring funding to these centres.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we voted on a ways and means motion for the budget implementation bill, yet the members of the official opposition opposed it.

Our government's top priority remains completing the economic recovery. Canadians gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to stay focused on the economy and pass measures aimed at strengthening both our economic recovery and our country. We are following through on these commitments with our parliamentary agenda.

The next phase of Canada's economic action plan will preserve this country's advantage in the global economy. Key tax relief in the plan includes the family caregiver tax credit, the children's arts tax credit, the volunteer firefighter tax credit and tax relief for the manufacturing sector.

Our government is staying the course with our low-tax plan to create jobs and growth.

The last thing the Canadian economy needs is a massive NDP tax hike that would kill jobs, stall our recovery, and set Canadian families back.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Champlain Bridge is a vital economic artery for Montreal and all of eastern Canada. It is falling apart. This has been dragging on far too long.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that the government will finally respond to the demands of the public and the NDP and announce tomorrow that a new bridge will be built?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our government has taken the initiative of investing money to ensure the bridge's safety on several occasions. It is indeed an essential asset for that region. However, I am disappointed that every time we invested money, the NDP voted against those investments in the greater Montreal area.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Conservatives endorsed the NDP's economic policy. Now that the House has spoken with one voice, will the Prime Minister finally do something about job creation, strengthening pensions, improving aging infrastructure and maintaining the public sector contribution to the economy?

Will he apply the House's prescription in order to prevent another Conservative recession?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, last night we did vote for a resolution that was extremely vague and general in nature, and I guess I congratulate the NDP for that.

What I do not congratulate it for, though, is the fact that immediately afterward we tabled literally hundreds of pages of specific economic actions, and the NDP chose to vote against those.

It is time for the NDP to get beyond vague bromides and start to actually vote for things that are doing good work for the Canadian economy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance ignored reality again this morning and predicted that Canada would not go into a recession. He said the same thing in 2008 and we all know how that turned out. Some two million Canadians are unemployed and cannot find jobs. Yesterday, this House voted unanimously for the government to take action.

Where is their job creation plan?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that there are analysts and experts who feel that a recession is unlikely for the Canadian economy, but of course the global situation is very fragile at the moment. That is why our government has its economic action plan. Yesterday in this House, we tabled hundreds of pages of specific measures to stimulate growth and create jobs. I encourage the NDP to stop voting against measures that are good for Canadians and our economy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, workers' wages are not even keeping up with inflation. This government's response is to give billions of dollars worth of gifts to profitable companies.

In theory, eventually all this money will find its way back into workers' pockets. But that is obviously not the case. The result? Record levels of personal debt.

What solutions does this government have to create good jobs and tackle the debt crisis?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we put forward a plan in June and, if I recall, the NDP actually voted against every measure in it.

We are going to allow New Democrats to redeem themselves, because we have now tabled budget implementation act number two, which puts in place an extension of our Jobs and Economic Growth Act. In this is the temporary hiring credit for small business.

That is one of many items in this budget implementation act that would actually help create more jobs for Canadians. I would hope that the NDP would vote for it this time.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, just reannouncing their failed or misguided policies is not good enough.

Canadians are worried. Canadians are crying out for immediate action, and they want the creation of decent jobs. The government is squandering billions of dollars on fruitless corporate tax giveaways, but Canadian wages are falling in real terms, partly because of the government's failure to protect the manufacturing sector.

When will the government realize that stale reannouncements and photo ops will not save its misguided austerity strategy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, there are many quotes that I could use from observers around the world in reaction to a question like that which is all about fear and negativity.

Let me quote Forbes magazine, and I know the NDP do not often read this, “Canada ranks No. 1 in our annual look at the Best Countries for Business”. It goes on to say, “Canada moves up from No. 4 in last year’s ranking thanks to its improved tax standing”.

Suicide PreventionOral Questions

October 4th, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a very strong consensus developing in the House and in the debate, which I am sure the Prime Minister has been following today, on the issue of creating a credible national strategy to prevent suicide, which is higher in Canada than it is in most of our neighbouring countries.

The resolution is quite specific. It calls for the creation of a new fund and for the creation of a national strategy. I wonder if the Prime Minister could tell us what specific action he plans to take in response to the discussions and the vote that is coming today.

Suicide PreventionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is obviously a very important issue. Far too many Canadian households are affected by the anguish of a suicide. As many members will know, we on this side of the House had the suicide of one of our former colleagues. We understand well the pain that this causes.

The government has taken important initiatives, such as the setting up of the Mental Health Commission and specific programs to help with suicide prevention in communities across the country. Obviously, we will look at any specific ideas to see how we can improve on this particular national health problem.

Suicide PreventionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we were hoping for a more specific answer, but we will try again.

The government clearly has a responsibility towards our country's veterans. Between 1972 and 2006, 500 former soldiers took their own lives.

What will the Prime Minister do to ensure that there is not the same level of suicide and tragedy among the new wave of young men returning from difficult battles in Afghanistan?