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House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prairie.

Topics

Wakefield Community CentreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am most proud to rise in this House today to acknowledge the excellent work of a community in my riding. A number of my colleagues have probably had the opportunity to visit Wakefield in the municipality of La Pêche, and may have noticed, as I have, that Wakefield is a dynamic community and a major cultural and tourist hub.

Recently, an important project came to fruition in this community. Fifteen years ago Wakefield had a dream to have its own multi-functional community centre, and through hard work it was officially opened last Saturday.

This beautiful state of the art building would not have been possible if it were not for the involvement of countless volunteers. In particular, I would like to mention the amazing collaborative work of the volunteers and board members of the Wakefield La Pêche Community Centre Cooperative and of its president Stephen Sabean. Mention must also be made of MNA Stéphanie Vallée, the mayor of La Pêche, Robert Bussière, municipal councillor Louis Rompré, and Caisse populaire Desjardins de Masham-Luskville.

I extend my congratulations to all.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on November 25, Canada has been participating in the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

This campaign reminds us that violence against women is a human rights violation. Our government is committed to supporting local projects to improve life for young women across Canada. That is why our government is calling for proposals for projects that will help eliminate the problem of violence against women on campuses.

Our government wants to provide communities and post-secondary institutions with more opportunities to actively prevent and reduce violence against young women. Violence against women has significant social and economic costs and affects every Canadian community. It is up to every individual to contribute to eliminating violence. It is up to all of us to change attitudes and take action to end violence against women.

Grey CupStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was a sea of orange in BC Place stadium yesterday as a sellout crowd saw the BC Lions win their sixth Grey Cup 34-23 at the 99th Grey Cup in Vancouver.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers played well, but the BC Lions were simply a better team yesterday. They were led by quarterback Travis Lulay, the most valuable player in the CFL, running back Andrew Harris, named most valuable Canadian, and receivers like Geroy Simon and others, not to mention ex-Surrey Rams kicker Paul McCallum, who kicked four field goals. The Lions took an early lead and held to the end.

The BC Lions are popular throughout the Lower Mainland and all of B.C. They typify the kind of modest balanced approach to sports in the Canadian Football League, which is a source of pride for so many Canadians across the country.

I congratulate the BC Lions on their sixth Grey Cup victory. We look forward to celebrating the Grey Cup this weekend in the Lower Mainland.

British Columbians look forward to the BC Lions defending their title at the 100th anniversary Grey Cup next year in Toronto. Go Lions Go.

Grey CupStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Vancouver there was wild cheering, shouts of adoration, dancing in the streets and love in the air, for our mighty and beloved BC Lions had just handed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers a thorough trouncing and returned the Grey Cup to British Columbia, its rightful home.

While we will try to be humble about this win, we will not forget that it was members of the Manitoba caucus who badgered our B.C. caucus into taking a substantial bet on the game. Casting our principles aside, we agreed to the wager. They were so foolish. There is no joy in the Manitoba caucus today, but there will be much joy in the hearts of a worthy charity to which we will donate the $250 of Manitoba money.

I congratulate coach Wally Buono and the amazing BC Lions on their Grey Cup victory. They are indeed Canada's greatest football team ever.

St. Joseph’s Health CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, 150 years ago, the Sisters of St. Joseph first displayed the courage and vision to establish a hospital in our then young community of Guelph, at that time numbering only 3,000 or 4,000 people.

Today, the 254 bed long-term care facility which they could not then begin to imagine stands on the spot where it started out as a 16 bed clinic for the sick, elderly and infirm, and grew through the passionate work and sacrifice of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

We are so fortunate in Guelph to have a state of the art health care facility and the help and care provided by its incredible nurses, health care workers, staff and volunteers, part of the reason Guelph is considered the most compassionate city in Canada.

For the sake of Guelph and our future generations, I can only hope that some day, 150 years from now, the same reflections will be repeated by others gathering to celebrate their 300th anniversary in a facility that we cannot now, in our wildest dreams, begin to imagine.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

November 28th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that next year our Conservative government will increase settlement funding for new Canadians in 11 provinces and territories, including British Columbia and Alberta.

In fact, since 2006 our Conservative government has tripled settlement funding. This comes after the Liberal government froze settlement funding for over a decade.

Our government is committed to ensuring that settlement funding is allocated in a fair manner and that all immigrants have access to the same level of services, regardless of where they choose to settle.

This year's settlement funding allocations reflect the fact that fewer immigrants are choosing to settle in Ontario. In fact, the share of immigrants settling in Ontario has decreased from 64% in 2005 to 52% in 2010.

Our government's actions are proof of our commitment to help newcomers to Canada settle and integrate quickly.

Police ServicesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the dangerous way the government has targeted police forces across the country is a new low.

The Minister of Public Safety really enjoys saying that he will give police officers the tools they need to keep our communities safe.

But the Conservatives have quite simply ignored the front-line police officers who were asking them not to eliminate the last restrictions on precision and assault weapons.

However, the Conservatives insist on pushing their incarceration agenda, even though police chiefs have said that it is an unbalanced approach that will simply not work.

The real crime is the way Conservative backbenchers are sitting on their hands instead of standing up for police. Those MPs refuse to speak up against a Prime Minister who is ignoring police chiefs and depriving them of the tools they are asking for. When will they finally get on side with police and keep our communities safe?

Canadian Wheat BoardStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, marketing freedom is so close that western Canadian grain farmers can almost taste it. Farmers like Dale Mainil, nephew of Art Mainil; Blair Stewart, Herb Axten, Al Johnston, and others, including the Saskatchewan and Alberta ministers of agriculture, made their way to Ottawa to voice their support for farmers and for their right to marketing freedom.

The proposed legislation would allow farmers in western Canada to have the freedom to sell their grains on an open market at a time and place of their choosing, and to seek out the best possible buyer for their top quality crops.

The Canadian Wheat Board would remain a voluntary option for farmers who wish to pool their grains. We have already begun to see the benefits of marketing freedom in western Canada with a new $50 million pasta processing facility in Regina and a $6 million storage expansion in Alberta.

I would encourage the opposition to stand with the government and vote to pass this important legislation tonight, so that western Canadian grain farmers can finally receive the marketing freedom they want and deserve.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are flabbergasted to find out the Conservatives want to break our solemn commitment on the Kyoto protocol. Of the 191 countries that signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol agreement, Canada is the only country repudiating it.

Canada's obligations under this agreement are legally binding. Canada's obligations to fight climate change are morally binding. Canada's obligations to future generations should be clear to all.

How can the Conservatives justify abandoning Canada's legal and moral obligations to fight climate change? How can they betray future generations so irresponsibly?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, our government is balancing the need for a cleaner and healthier environment by protecting jobs and economic growth. We need an effective agreement. Effective means it must include large emitters. The Kyoto protocol does not include major emitters like China and the United States, and therefore will not work.

Canada will not sign onto a new agreement that does not include all major emitters.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives set weak insipid targets and they did not even meet their own targets. They did not get the job done.

Canada signed a legally binding international agreement. Instead of even trying to honour our word, Conservatives choose to abandon the Kyoto protocol. This is nothing less than environmental vandalism. This irresponsible action harms the planet, and kills the next generation of clean energy and Canadian jobs.

Why will the government not be responsible, show leadership, and join the rest of the world in the fight against climate change? Why is it betraying Canadians' commitment to the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and we are making good progress.

Our government is balancing the need for a cleaner and healthier environment with protecting jobs and economic growth. We need an effective agreement, and that is why the major emitters must absolutely be at the table. The Kyoto protocol does not include major emitters like China and the United States and therefore will not work. Canada will not sign onto a new agreement that does not include all major emitters.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is no balance. That is completely irresponsible. The Conservatives want to withdraw Canada from the Kyoto protocol and they will do so only after the summit in Durban. The Minister of the Environment's presence in Durban is a complete charade. He is going there to obstruct and stifle progress, derail talks and act like an environmental vandal. Even Brian Mulroney signed international treaties against climate change, so why are the Conservatives doing the opposite? Why are they betraying future generations? Why are they betraying the future of our planet?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the hon. member, it is strange to hear him use the word “balance”. We want to balance protecting the environment with creating jobs. A government cannot take into account both the environment and the economy with an election platform that advocates $10 billion in taxes, or an environmental platform that would increase gas by 10¢ a litre.

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear: we need an effective agreement, which takes the major greenhouse gas emitters and the protocol—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. member for Halifax.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government's position makes no sense, whether from a legal, moral or scientific perspective. By opting out of Kyoto, Canada is cutting itself off from the rest of the world. Thus, it is sure to be left out of important decisions concerning the future of the planet. The Conservatives prefer to play by themselves in their oil-sands box. Why?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker.

Canada is finding that a good number of countries are moving to our position.

Canada is working toward a single new international climate change regime that will include all major international emitters, both developed and developing countries.

At the same time, Canada continues to pursue our targets of reducing greenhouse gases by 17% by 2020.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker.

That was not an answer. The truth is that Conservative inaction on environment is killing Canadian jobs. Now the government is trying to change the channel by re-announcing its failed clean air agenda. The irresponsible government is making us a laughingstock internationally.

Why will Conservatives not come clean with the world, why will Conservatives not come clean with Canadians, and why will they not admit that Canada is pulling out of Kyoto?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her lob question. It gives me a chance to say that I am extremely pleased to inform all of my hon. colleagues that we have renewed the clean air regulatory agenda.

We will provide $600 million over the next five years in scientific research, monitoring, modelling, regulation, and enforcement required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other toxic pollutants.

Our government can balance both environmental stewardship and protecting the economy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the government wants to be honest, straightforward and transparent, and that is what leads me to ask a very simple question.

If it is the intention of the Government of Canada to renege on a treaty that was ratified by the Parliament of Canada, why would the Government of Canada not say so now? Why would it not just bring it forward for debate in Parliament now? Why not do it before it goes through the charade of participating in the conference in Durban? Why such a double standard?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, talking about honesty, let us not forget that under the Liberals Canada's GHG emissions increased by 27% to 33% over Kyoto targets. Under the Liberals, Canada's total carbon dioxide emissions increased by 28 points per capita.

Our government is balancing the need for a cleaner and healthier environment by protecting jobs and economic growth. The Kyoto protocol does not include major emitters like China and the United States, and therefore will not work.

We remain committed to our targets to reduce emissions by 17%—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, now that the minister is talking about jobs, let us talk about jobs.

The real rate of unemployment today in Canada is 10%, which means that there are two million unemployed in Canada, people who are discouraged, who have stopped looking for work, and who are actually out of work. It is two million people.

I would like to ask the minister a simple question. Why is it that the only initiative that the government is planning to take on January 1, 2012 is a middle class tax increase? How can the government possibly justify that when there are two million unemployed Canadians?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, our economic action plan is working. Close to 600,000 net new jobs have been created since 2009.

I must remind the House that the Liberals refused to support our budget. They walked away from the family caregiver tax credit, the children's arts tax credit, the volunteer firefighters tax credit, tax relief for the manufacturing sector, a tax credit for small businesses that creates jobs, and making the gas tax fund permanent.

This is what the Liberals walked away from.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government does not realize how serious the unemployment problem is. And at the same time, it is guilty of excessive spending.

The government is wasting money on baubles and trinkets. The Minister of Foreign Affairs spent $6,000 to replace Pellan paintings with portraits of the Queen. Furthermore, he spent $55,000 on flags for the diamond jubilee, completely ignoring the real concerns of Canadians.

How can the government justify such excessive spending on baubles and trinkets?