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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not have the actual figures at my fingertips and I am not going to make them up like so often happens in this place.

What I can say is that there is no government in recent history that has invested more in Canada's social housing stock than this government. In fact, in the Waterloo region, my own region, there have been incredible investments. We work with community partners that come to the table with a great objective, a great idea, and they partner with the Canadian government, the Ontario government, and, in our case, the Waterloo regional government to create amazing projects.

More importantly, there are other more foundational changes that this document, Bill C-13, would implement that all of our members should be supporting when it comes to allowing students to earn money. Students do not just want handouts. They want to be able to earn money and not have it clawed back off of their student loans.

This budget would implement that. I cannot understand why members on that side stand and vote against these great initiatives.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Kitchener—Conestoga for his fine speech and the excellent work he does on the Hill, including being a leader at committee with regard to palliative and compassionate care, with which he is heavily involved.

Part of the budget has a family caregiver tax credit, which I know is an issue, and he talked about seniors in his speech. Why is it important for these to be included in the bill?

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for highlighting the work of the palliative care committee. We hope to release our report later this week.

Certainly, compassion extended to those who are vulnerable in our society has to be one of our primary objectives as members of Parliament. I am thrilled to see that our government recognized that in this budget, including removing the limit on medical expenses and also introducing the new family caregiver tax credit. This $2,000 credit would be for caregivers who are helping those who face a debilitating illness.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the chamber to speak to Bill C-13 and participate in the debate.

I will start with the caregivers tax credit and point out some of the problems with this overall government agenda and strategy. The government often announces programs. That was done well by the Mike Harris Ontario government when it had one dump truck full of $1 million in cash and would literally move that from community to community announcing program after program and service after service. However, nobody could really access it. Nobody could really get the necessary support that the government was promoting in the programs.

We have seen that with the current government and with previous governments where there would be billions of dollars in slippage or money that never actually went out the door because the mandates and the criteria for those incentives did not work well with either the taxpayers, citizens in general or with the businesses the government was trying to support in terms of new programs and services.

This tax credit for caregivers is another one. It is something I am fairly familiar with. I worked for the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities for five years and with Community Living Mississauga for about three years helping people who needed assistance and caregiving. These people did not qualify for unemployment, did not have proper medical support and would not be able to take advantage of a tax credit. That is an important issue that we need to acknowledge. The tax credit that is being proposed would literally be dangled in front of some Canadians but would not be available for others. It is building inequality.

We have a middle-class that is shrinking. All of the evidence supports that, especially given what we have gone through with the recent economic recession and what is happening in the global economy. This would create a separate class of people who have access to caregivers, leaving the rest behind because they are too poor. How is that fair? How does that stand in a budget for a country that is supposed to be known for social justice, humanity and not leaving people behind? How does it even get to the point where the Conservatives are getting up here proudly celebrating the fact that some Canadians will get the support they need?

I can the House that support is critical. We are talking about people being able to have a bath, have their homes cleaned and live in better and humane conditions. These are critical elements. I have done that work myself. We are talking about people who need assistance right now to improve their quality of life but will not get it because they do not have enough money, are not rich enough or do not make enough.

How is it possible that members can stand in the chamber to support a program like that? I do not understand that logic. I cannot see through it. I cannot see how the Conservatives can brag about segregating people who have physical and mental impairments or disabilities into classes of those who will get that service and those who will not.

I thought we were supposed to be helping the people who are worse off in this country. I think about the people I served who, at that time, were put into institutions. After being institutionalized, they were released between the ages of 30 and 40 and were left to the wind because there was not enough support. They had never worked before and never had the opportunity to be part of the community. If they were lucky, they got into programs like mine and, if we were lucky, we would be able to get them a job and train them. We would go on site.

A lot of measures are required to ensure that people who have physical or psychological impairments can re-enter or enter the workforce. A lot of training has to happen. There are front-line support workers. It took a lot of effort. It would often require a government program with significant resources but at the end of the day it was worth it. We proved that for every dollar the government put into our program we saved it $3 in welfare.

When those people came through the door, we did not look at their income bracket to determine whether they could get support. We did not tell them that they were too impoverished and that, although they needed the service, we would give it to someone else who could afford it because he or she could get a tax break.

How is that fair? What some of these caregivers can do is prevent people from going to a hospital. They can help people get structure around their life so they can work part-time. It is all important and it is all related.

How can people go for an interview or be involved in their community if basic hygiene is a problem for them. They may have a problem physically or they have a problem doing that work in their house? Their apartment or house or wherever they live can create an impediment for them going out into the community.

What we are saying with this tax credit is that those Canadians who have the biggest insurmountable elements in their life will be left behind. They will not get that assistance. Their neighbour might, if their neighbour has enough money or makes enough money. We know from the evidence that most people in Canadian society will not be able to take advantage of this tax credit.

I have a hard time understanding the logic in this. How can anyone actually get up and proudly say that this will be separated to ensure Canadians have two options: one, nothing; and two, others will get their tax credit back and they will get assistance.

I think the philosophy that the government has adopted about winners and losers has really turned Canada upside down. It is picking winners and losers right now. That is what it is doing with the Wheat Board and with other issues. It is very divisive, which is unfortunate.

We need to start looking at why we cannot afford this tax credit for all Canadians. The government is making some poor choices, between prisons and planes. It is important to talk about some of the choices with regard to tax cuts that are taking place right now.

Since we are in a fiscal deficit, we have been borrowing money from ourselves to pay interest on tax cuts largely for profitable corporations. It is not for the ones that are value-added and have been struggling during this process, like the manufacturing sector in my home town. It has been struggling but it does not benefit from a tax cut because it is not making a profit.

What ends up happening is that the oil and gas industry benefits and the pharmaceutical companies benefit. All the companies, ironically, that are doing extremely well right now are also getting massive subsidies. Those companies get them for fossil fuels. They get fuel subsidies and they will continue to get them.

The interesting thing is that we are not even talking corporate tax reductions. We are talking about some of what the oil and gas industry gets in terms of subsidies. I would ask members to listen to a few of these: the flow-through share subsidy, the Canadian exploration expense subsidy, the Canadian developmental expense subsidy and the Canadian oil and gas property expense subsidy. All those together add up to $1.256 billion in lost tax revenue since 2008 alone.

We are still paying for those subsidies because we actually borrowed money. It is just like the HST. To bring in the HST, the government had to borrow $6 billion and now it has a debacle going on with British Columbia in this regard. We had Library of Parliament analyze the borrowing costs of the HST. The HST will cost the government, if it pays it over a 10 year cycle at the average interest rate, anywhere between $6 billion to $8 billion. We will pay those costs.

I again want to emphasize that a budget does not need to be about winners and losers, which is what this is right here. Some people will do really well and others will not. That is not the Canada I want.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on the idea of winners and losers.

When I look at the government in terms of one of its many failings, it is in its dealing with seniors. There are many seniors who are experiencing very difficult times. They do not have the necessary funds to purchase the items they need. We are talking about some of the fundamentals, pharmaceuticals and food. It is a quality of life issue.

Would the member give us his personal thoughts in regard to what more he believes the government could have done in terms of being able to better enhance the lifestyle of our seniors from coast to coast?

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a critical issue. I travelled this country a number of years ago pushing for a seniors charter of rights, which actually passed in this House of Commons and which the government has yet to implement.

I would argue that one of the simple things we could do is deal with pensions. Seniors' pensions are a critical issue for so many people. If people enter into a private arrangement with their employer and it is a deferred wage, they earn that wage for the future so as not to rely as much on the public. However, If the company is going bankrupt, why would they be last in line as a creditor? It is unacceptable and unconscionable. That is one of the things the Conservatives could have done. It would not have cost any money and would have been a fair thing to do. It also would save the public purse later on as the senior would have a functioning pension.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note the things that my colleague ignores about what this bill would do for seniors. There is no question that we would all like to do more for everybody. However, the reality is that we have done a lot for seniors. We have removed 85,000 seniors from the tax rolls. We have introduced pension income splitting. This budget introduces an enhancement to the guaranteed income supplement of $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples, of those who are in the very lowest income tax brackets, those whom my colleague was targeting earlier.

How can they stand and oppose initiatives like this that would make it easier for our most vulnerable seniors?

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have more money allocated in the future for prisons and planes than they do for seniors. It is as simple as that.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are told that the budget measures in Bill C-13 will make life better for families.

I would like to know what my hon. colleague thinks of the cuts affecting children that have been made by the Conservative government over the past few weeks. Social services and community organizations are sounding the alarm because the government is taking child tax benefits away from the most vulnerable families. To verify whether these measures are justified, they are being asked to fill out a six-page questionnaire. Then it takes time to assess the questionnaire, while families are being deprived of money to pay the rent. This is cruel. What should we be doing instead to help them?

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a very pertinent question. That is why I was referring to the surpluses that the government sometimes gets and the slippages where it was often referred in terms of departmental money that is never spent. The government creates so many obstacles and so much difficulty that it requires so much assistance, or it does not even bother doing it itself.

We have seen that with the disability tax credit, for example, or the GIS where people need to apply for it instead of just getting it. These are things that the government could have changed that would have actually helped Canadians, especially those on the fringe.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member spoke about the tax cuts and that they are not helping industry in his riding. I have heard directly from the head of automotive manufacturers in this country about the need to continue along with the tax cut process that we put in place.

Is the member saying that those people, those who create seven to eight jobs for every job they have in their plant, are wrong about our tax cuts?

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House at this time to speak in support of Bill C-13, Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act.

Canada has weathered the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. We are the only G7 country to have more than recovered all of the output and all of the jobs lost during the recession. In fact, Canada has posted by far the strongest growth in employment among G7 countries during the recovery. This is in no small measure due to the stellar and diligent work of our Minister of Finance and the extraordinary measures in Canada's economic action plan, which is a road map to improve the well-being of all Canadians over the long run by securing the recovery, eliminating the deficit, and investing in the drivers of long-term economic growth.

The Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and this government have made protecting Canadian jobs and the economy the top priority. In fact, 600,000 more Canadians are working today than when the recession ended, and nine out of ten of those jobs are full-time positions.

Our government's plan is to strengthen and secure Canada's economic and financial fundamentals. That is why the government has responded to critical situations with flexibility and pragmatism. Its response is designed to keep our economy secure and resilient.

The government, unlike the official opposition, is not bound by ideological dogma, and unlike the third party, by political expediency and opportunism. That is why Canada is held up as a shining example of stability and prudence in an ocean of instability. Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO, said during his appearance at the finance committee in August:

I would say that compared to policy-making in the rest of the world, Canada's economic policy-making has been exemplary. I don't think there's been a significant misstep in recent years.

That is why the global leadership that Canada has displayed since day one of the economic crisis has earned Canada the praise of a number of the world's respected organizations and institutions.

For instance, Canada's banking system has been deemed the world's best for four years running now by the World Economic Forum. The World Bank also said that Canada is the easiest place to start a business in the G7. Forbes magazine recently ranked Canada as the best country to do business in. The international credit rating agencies, such as Moody's, Fitch and Standard and Poor's, have all renewed Canada's AAA credit rating. The G20 young entrepreneur summit recently said that Canada is a start-up paradise, an entrepreneurial hotbed of business confidence. The IMF has also praised Canada's deficit reduction plan and has said that Canada is one of two countries that will have the fastest economic growth in the G7 this year and next.

It does not stop there. There is more. The Economic Intelligence Unit says Canada is the best country among the G7 to do business in and will continue to be over the next five years.

The finance committee, of which I am a member, recently concluded its pre-budget consultations. We met with dozens of individuals, associations, businesses, and organizations, both here in Ottawa and around the country. We also received over 600 written submissions.

The overwhelming consensus from our hearings was support for our government's plan. For instance, the Canadian Home Builders' Association stated that:

Today's budget provides a responsible transition from stimulus spending towards creating the conditions that will renew private sector demand and job creation.

Regarding the budget, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants stated that:

...it strikes the right balance by keeping Canada competitive and demonstrating prudent fiscal management.

All these results do not just fall from the sky. As the Minister of Finance recently stated:

Countries, just like individuals, do not stumble into prosperity. They set out a plan and stick to it, so that they are fully capable of seizing opportunity when misfortune hits, instead of merely being overwhelmed by it.

The government has followed a low-tax plan that has successfully branded Canada as a low-business-tax jurisdiction. Our government paid down substantial amounts of debt before the economic crisis even arrived. By doing so, our government has been successful in keeping net debt to GDP ratio well below G7 counterparts at 34%, while at the same time other countries were piling vast amounts of additional debt onto existing debt.

Under the leadership of our Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Canada chose not to go down the road of ruin by recklessly taxing and spending, the path the opposition would have us take. Our government chose rather to support Canadian families by creating jobs, and the average family has over $3,000 in tax reductions.

Our government's top priority is the economy. Although Canada's economy is outperforming other advanced industrialized countries, Canada is not immune from the impact of events that originate beyond our shores. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance have always been very clear about this fact.

Therefore, with the global economy still fragile due to the European sovereign debt and banking crisis, the Minister of Finance announced last week that the government will be reducing the maximum potential increase in next year's EI premium from 10¢ to 5¢ per $100 of insurable earnings. This measure will leave over $600 million in the hands of Canadian businesses and workers and their families.

In response to this measure, Dan Kelly, senior vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said:

It is clear Finance Minister Flaherty has heard the concerns of Canada's entrepreneurs by taking action to lower the planned EI hike.

The CFIB press release also stated:

This move will reduce the burden of business and leave more money in the pockets of their employees.

To continue to support jobs and growth, the Minister of Finance also announced an additional extension of the successful work-sharing program, which has already benefited some 300,000 workers.

Other measures designed to create jobs and growth included rebuilding the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard, which will create long-term jobs and generate significant economic benefits in shipbuilding and related industries across Canada.

Also announced was the investment of additional funds to modernize and expand the capacity of priority border facilities across Canada.

The Minister of Finance also announced that our government is on track to eliminate the deficit in a balanced and responsible way. We will balance in 2015. This is due to the ongoing financial crisis in Europe and the uncertainty in the United States.

The Minister of Finance once again demonstrated that our government's top priority is the economy. We will do this through our low-tax plan to create jobs and growth in a way that is both flexible and pragmatic.

In support of this move, the Honourable Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said:

While we understand that the slower economic growth will delay Canada's ability to return to balanced budgets, we agree with the Minister that the government should not be adding to the deficit by increasing spending at this time.

Budget 2011 will preserve Canada's advantage in the global economy. It will strengthen the financial security of Canadian workers. It will give more income security to seniors and families and will provide stability during a fragile and uncertain global recovery.

Motions in AmendmentKeeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

Cyber Cop ProgramStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadian children are facing a new challenge. The issue of cyber bullying has increased the intensity and frequency of abuse children can face on a daily basis. This means that parents, teachers, lawmakers, and all adults have a duty to step up and put things in place to protect our children.

In my riding, the Truro Police Service has done just that by initiating the Cyber Cop program. Cyber Cop is an innovative program that provides children with the tools they need to combat cyber bullying and practice safe Internet usage.

Coordinator Barry Mingo, Constable Jon Keddy, Constable Todd Taylor and Chief Dave MacNeil all deserve an incredible amount of credit for initiating this program.

Kudos also to mayor Bill Mills and the Truro town council for standing behind the Truro police service, supporting the cyber cop program and stepping up to protect our children.

Navy League of CanadaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is a great day in Canada today, because the Navy League of Canada is in Ottawa to talk about various issues affecting the Navy League throughout the country.

This organization, one of the finest organizations in the country, has been around for 116 years. It is in over 260 Canadian communities helping out 15,000 young Canadians on issues of maritime affairs, the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and the Navy League Cadets.

The Navy League of Canada is incorporated with many ex-military personnel from admirals all the way down to chief petty officers. It is truly a wonderful organization. I encourage every member here today to attend the reception, because the Navy League of Canada is one of the finest organizations this country has ever seen.

Alex Thomson Royal Canadian Legion BranchStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to tell the House about the Alex Thomson Royal Canadian Legion Branch 82, which has been part of the landscape of Mississauga South in Port Credit for more than 80 years, the past 40 on the banks of the scenic Credit River.

The branch is dedicated to the memory of Colonel Alex Thomson, a former Port Credit resident, who was decorated for bravery and killed in action in France during World War I.

Branch 82 is still a wonderful place to meet old friends and new ones, and that is what hundreds of veterans and members of the community of Mississauga South did on Remembrance Day last Friday.

As a new member of the legion, I meet new comrades each time I go. On Friday, it was Phil and George from the Queen's Own Rifles; parade marshal Norm; RCMP officer Ben, who laid the wreath with me and taught me how to march in parade; feisty World War II veteran Vic Morrow, and many others.

I owe special thanks to legion president Kim Reinhart, the ladies' auxiliary--whose shepherd's pie was a huge hit--and the entire team that helped make Branch 82's Remembrance Day ceremonies such a fitting tribute to our local heroes.

Lest we forget.

Airline IndustryStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, with the unanimous passage by the House of Commons of my motion concerning airline passenger rights, every Canadian expected the government to enhance protection for the millions of paying customers who travel on airlines each and every year in this country.

The entire Conservative cabinet stood along with every government backbencher to vote for a Canadian airline passenger bill of rights, but before they had time to sit back down in their seats, the Conservatives had already changed their minds on the whole affair. No legislation was ever produced.

Since that time, the European Union has enacted strong legislation to protect airline passengers. In the United States, just weeks ago, the U.S. Congress ratified into law tough new regulations that protect airline passengers from extended waits while on board an aircraft, ensure mandatory compensation for passengers who are bumped due to overbooking and set out compensation for baggage delays and losses.

When will the government enact proper airline passenger protection legislation?

Human RightsStatements by Members

November 15th, 2011 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately there are still many places where people do not enjoy the freedoms that Canadians have.

Lately violence has flared in Egypt at the expense of the Coptic minority, who have been attacked and killed in their places of worship. Our Subcommittee on International Human Rights has just heard testimony about this situation.

Clearly, more has to be done to protect minority rights.

First the extremists who plan and carry out these violent attacks need to be brought to justice, and the government of Egypt must act to physically protect minorities as they go about their daily lives.

As Egypt heads into elections, the transitional government must ensure that these elections are both free and fair, a process that would include inviting international observers to monitor the vote.

When the new Egyptian parliament convenes, the new constitution it writes must ensure that the religious freedoms of all Egyptians are fully protected in law.

Quebec Student Football ChampionshipStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 12, 2011, I had the pleasure of attending the 36th annual Bol d'or, a major high school and college football event that was held in Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles for the very first time.

First of all, congratulations to the winners of the championship: the Collège Notre-Dame Cactus, the Collège François-Xavier Garneau Élans, the Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy Notre-Dames—winning the first Bol d'or in the school's history—and the Collège André-Grasset Phénix. You are all true champions and should be proud of your achievements.

This major football event was organized by the Cégep Limoilou, the Collège Saint-Jean-Eudes and the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec.

I would like to sincerely thank the event organizers and volunteers and all the young athletes who helped make this day a true success, to the delight of football fans across the Quebec City region.

Firearms RegistryStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I got to take in the opening of the annual deer hunt. I hunted with two of my sons, my father, as well as some of my brothers, nephews and friends. One of my brothers who lives in England even flew home for the annual ritual. That is how much hunting means to my family and to a lot of people in my riding.

My mom's four brothers, some in their eighties, along with some of their sons and grandsons, made the annual trek up the Bruce Peninsula to hunt deer near their childhood home. Just days before, my 12-year-old cousin, Hunter Unger of Millarville, Alberta, bagged his first deer, a buck. He trained to hunt safely under the watchful eye of his father Dave, just as my sons and nephews did.

In the 1990s the Liberals tried to make criminals out of us and tried to make us feel guilty because we loved to hunt. They tried to destroy our heritage right to hunt. What the Liberals taketh away, the Conservatives giveth back.

The best Christmas present hunters, sport shooters and farmers could receive this year is the abolishment of the long run registry. Merry Christmas, Allan Rock.

Status of WomenStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to express my support for a women's group in my riding. Today I am wearing purple along with members from both sides of the House in support of the London Abused Women's Centre's Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign.

Since its inception in November 2010, the goal of this campaign has been to raise awareness around the issue of woman abuse and its effect on society. Organizations, schools, neighbourhoods and places of worship across London will be asked to participate by wearing purple today.

As parliamentary secretary for Status of Women Canada, I am proud that our government has increased funding for women to its highest level ever. We are working hard with women across the country to end violence against women and girls.

Since 2007, Status of Women Canada has approved more than $30.4 million in funding for projects to end violence against women and girls. Further, the Government of Canada contributed $1 million to provide women escaping violence with better access to higher quality services at women's shelters.

I would like to congratulate the London Abused Women's Centre, especially executive director, Megan Walker, for shining the light on woman abuse.

Louis TailleferStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be speaking in the House today to congratulate one of my constituents, who has received a great honour.

Louis Taillefer, a world-renowned specialist in quantum materials and superconductors, was recently awarded the Order of Canada.

A physics professor at the Université de Sherbrooke, Mr. Taillefer describes himself first and foremost as a passionate researcher. His work and discoveries in this field have been highlighted more than once, notably in the most prestigious scientific journal, Nature.

Louis Taillefer has received many other honours, including the Marie-Victorin award from the Quebec government and the Premier's Research Excellence Award from the Ontario government. In addition, the Canadian Association of Physicists awarded him the Brockhouse and Herzberg medals.

I would like to congratulate Mr. Taillefer on his investiture and his excellent work. On behalf of the people of Sherbrooke, I want to thank him for his tremendous contribution to research and innovation in Canada.

International TradeStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, today our government followed through on a commitment made in the June 2011 Speech from the Throne by introducing the Canada-Jordan Economic growth and prosperity act and the Canada-Panama economic growth and prosperity act.

These pieces of legislation, on which our former colleague Stock Day worked so hard, are a key part of Canada's ambitious pro-trade plan that is opening new markets and creating opportunities for Canadian business and jobs for Canadian workers.

We will eliminate tariffs on the vast majority of Canadian exports to Jordan, directly benefiting Canadian exporters and workers. We will also eliminate tariffs to Panama on over 99% of Canadian non-agricultural exports through duty-free access to that market.

Our Conservative government will continue to implement our job-creating, pro-trade plan because we know that through deepened trade we are strengthening the financial security of Canadians by creating new jobs and promoting economic growth.

Canadian Auto Workers Local 195Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the 75th anniversary of CAW Local 195. This local is a pioneer of the union movement in Canada as the first chartered auto worker union. Today 195 includes over 70 different bargaining units and approximately 7,000 members.

Since its inception, local 195 has been at the forefront of the struggle for unity, progress and justice for workers in Canada. Its history is one of securing meaningful victories on pensions, wages, health and safety in the workplace, issues that still represent central aspects of its continuing work.

Local 195 is also a tremendous community partner supporting important local charities and service organizations like the United Way, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Unemployed Help Centre. Local 195's legacy of giving back is impressive.

I want to commend Gerry Farnham, president, for his extraordinary leadership and thank every member of local 195 for their ongoing commitment to improving our community. Local 195 first and foremost.