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House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

[Members sang the national anthem]

YOUCAN Youth ServiceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently I had the pleasure of announcing funding for and visiting an organization in Edmonton called YOUCAN Youth Service.

YOUCAN Youth Service helps young people with barriers to employment and education overcome those barriers and achieve their full potential. I met dedicated staff and volunteers who spend countless hours unselfishly working to give young people facing challenges an opportunity to discover who they can be. I met young people at various stages of turning their lives around. They realized that they do matter and that they do have people who care about their futures.

I participated in a discussion circle, where everyone has a chance to speak openly and honestly. A rock is passed around the circle and the holder of the rock has the floor while everyone listens attentively. What a quaint notion. As the keeper of the parliamentary rock, Mr. Speaker, perhaps it is an idea that you might consider for adoption in this place.

I want to thank and pay tribute to organizations like YOUCAN Youth Service and people like Kyle who make a tremendous difference in the lives of young Canadians. I also want to recognize young Canadians, like Candy, who seize the opportunity and turn their lives around.

I would encourage all of us to be the rock for a young person who needs our help.

EmploymentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, London is my community. Despite suggestions from a member opposite to the contrary, I am proud of my city and I am especially proud of the people of London for their show of resiliency, determination and optimism when faced with some very difficult challenges. However, pride in one's city does not mean that we can ignore reality.

My city has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Jobs have been lost. In southwestern Ontario, 10,000 jobs have been lost in the last five years, most in the manufacturing sector. Families are hurting and we cannot sugar-coat the issues faced by so many in my riding. London has an unemployment rate of 9.1%. There is a proposal to open a satellite welfare office in the east end. We need a federal government focused on job creation, not tax cuts; jobs in energy conservation, transit, alternative energy and green manufacturing. The people of London matter and deserve no less.

Lifetime Business Achievement AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize well-known Pembroke businessman and community supporter, Gerry Binhammer. Mr. Binhammer has been named 2011 Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Business Achievement Award winner. While Gerry is well known in the Pembroke business community as the successful owner-operator of the Malcolm, Deavitt and Binhammer Funeral Home, it is his community work for which Gerry is an honoured member in my area and how I am most aware of his stellar performance.

Active in his community as a member of Kiwanis International, the Masonic Lodge and Ottawa Valley Tunis Shrine Club, Gerry is a firm believer in helping youth. In addition to his work with service clubs, he has made major financial gifts to Algonquin College, Pembroke Regional Hospital and Miramichi Lodge. Through his generosity, nine students each year from local high schools are eligible for $1,000 bursaries for academic achievement to assist with their post-secondary education. It is people like Gerry Binhammer who give the Upper Ottawa Valley its reputation as a kind, caring, wonderful place to live.

I congratulate Gerry on his outstanding achievement.

Prostate CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the last day of movember and as our moustaches have grown, so has the popularity of this great campaign. Here in the House the three teams, the “New DeMOcrats”, the “Strong, Stable Conservative MOjority” and we “Li-Bros”, have together raised over $50,000. All together, 245,000 Canadians grew moustaches and made Canada by far the number one country in the world, with over $32 million raised. Movember is a good way to bring attention to men's health issues, but more needs to be done.

As Dr. Larry Goldenberg said, “A man is more than just a penis and a prostate”. Dr. Goldenberg said that men's health needs to be about more, too. Men have shorter life expectancies, almost five years less. Heart disease, suicide, liver disease and diabetes are all more prevalent among men. Dr. Goldenberg has taken the first steps in proposing a Canadian institute of male health. We need a national body separate from government that would be entirely focused on men's health that could co-ordinate research activities, education campaigns and other initiatives.

Just as Canada leads in movember, so too can we all lead here in Canada with the Canadian institute of male health.

IsraelStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was outraged yesterday when I heard that Katyusha rockets were once again fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. The Lebanese government must uphold its responsibilities to prevent threats to innocent lives and the resulting terror that this rocket fire indiscriminately puts upon all residents.

Despite the presence of UNIFIL, this is the eighth rocket attack on Israel since the 2006 ceasefire agreement. I call on the Lebanese government to maintain control and order in its country and to ensure the safety of its neighbours and internationally protected persons on both sides of the border.

“Bécik jaune” Bicycle ProjectStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about a wonderful initiative undertaken by the youth centre in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, in my riding of Joliette.

Three years ago, leaders at this organization launched the “Bécik jaune” project. This project makes a fleet of community bicycles available free of charge to people in the greater Joliette area.

This innovative project is very worthwhile. It gives people access to a safe means of transportation, combats social isolation and increases physical activity. Furthermore, this project gives potential school dropouts a chance to build self-esteem by maintaining the bikes. It also helps protect the environment by providing an alternative to driving and by reducing greenhouse gases as well as the amount of waste produced.

This project tackles some current societal challenges and deserves all the support we can give it.

Essar Steel AlgomaStatements By Members

November 30th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to express my gratitude for the generosity of Essar Steel Algoma.

Yesterday, Essar created a community investment fund of $5 million to help support community development in Sault Ste. Marie. This is a great example of how our government's low-tax policy is helping corporations to invest in their local communities. I am proud to be part of a government that encourages job creation and economic growth, instead of penalizing productivity through high corporate taxes.

Hard work in the private sector is the backbone of this country. The CEO of Essar put it best when he said:

Our community's ability to attract and retain qualified professionals and highly skilled personnel is dependent upon the city's economic vitality and social fabric.

Essar put its money where its mouth is and invested in the community of Sault Ste. Marie. We thank Essar Steel Algoma for leading the way in job creation, corporate responsibility and unbridled generosity. Sault Ste. Marie is grateful for its presence and activity in our community.

Prostate CancerStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is movember, and men across the country gave their upper lips for the worthy cause of growing a moustache in support of prostate cancer awareness and men's health. Many stylish and full mos were grown, and some not so much, but it was all done in good fun and for a worthy cause.

Last year over 100,000 men from Canada alone participated in movember and raised over $22 million. This year we have already surpassed $32 million. Worldwide, since its inception, movember has raised over $200 million to fund awareness and research and to assist those living with prostate cancer.

I am proud to say that this year I was able to participate in the noble efforts of the movember campaign. I, along with colleagues on both sides of the House, and Canadian men nationwide, made a valiant effort to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

Over 25,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. One in seven will develop the disease in their lifetime. I want to remind men to get their prostates checked, and I ask all women to encourage the men in their lives to visit their doctors.

Santa Fund TelethonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to shout a loud Christmas cheer for the Sturgeon Falls volunteer firefighters and their successful Santa Fund Telethon last weekend.

Over $37,000 was raised during the West Nipissing telethon. This is an amazing figure, a community of 14,000 raising $37,000 in seven hours.

I would like to congratulate chief Richard Savage and his team of firefighters, as well as the group of over 200 exceptional volunteers, for their participation in the telethon.

Hats off, as well, to all the individuals, businesses and charities that donated and made the telethon and toy drive such a success. It is the best result in over 15 years. This means that over 400 families in need will enjoy Christmas.

Merry Christmas to the families, the children, the firefighters and to you, the excellent community of West Nipissing. You make us proud.

Emergency PreparednessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, 14 fire departments rallied together to contain 2 raging wild fires near Lethbridge that were fuelled by hurricane-force winds.

The firefighters were assisted by the police, disaster services, several Hutterite colonies and other community volunteers.

Providence must also be acknowledged. The fires raged for over 12 hours, spread as wide as 9 kilometres, over 40 kilometres long. One fire came to the edge of the city, but not a single home or building was burned.

As I toured the south fire with local authorities, we saw that it was nothing short of miraculous the number of times the fire suddenly shifted direction before it would have consumed a home or a building, a group of animals or a community.

Finally, many local emergency preparedness plans were executed, and others were ready to be put into action. In addition to praising first responders, I call on individuals, families, communities and their leaders across the country to put an emergency preparedness plan in place.

Catherine LamontagneStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to congratulate a Quebecker in my riding who is one of the 2011 recipients of the Activité nationale de reconnaissance de la participation citoyenne award, a citizenship award given out by the Government of Quebec. Catherine Lamontagne from the Forum Jeunesse Montérégie Est was given the award for her dynamic devotion to the community of Bromont. She is the chair of the Bromont family advisory committee and she helped to set up its Carrefour familial or family centre, which provides drop-in daycare services and networking activities for young families in the area. Through Ms. Lamontagne's leadership, Bromont's Carrefour familial received the 2011 municipal and family action award in recognition of the various services it provides.

Congratulations to this young Quebecker who is helping families in her community.

Violence against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is actively participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.

Violence against women affects us all. It destroys families and weakens the fabric of our society. It takes a heavy toll on our communities and on our economy.

Since 2007, Status of Women Canada has approved more than $39 million in funding for projects designed specifically to help end violence against women and girls. These projects involve countless hours of dedicated work on the ground in communities. In many cases they are helping prevent violence and abuse and in others they are helping women deal or cope with its consequences.

Status of Women Canada's support for community-based projects has nearly doubled since 2007, to almost $19 million a year, its highest level ever.

Persons with DisabilitiesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one-quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability. Ensuring that the world we live in is disability inclusive and free from barriers which prevent full participation in all aspects of our society is not only an issue of basic human rights, but also one of citizenship.

To mark the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Liberal Party of Canada is proud to announce changes that make the Liberal Party's websites more accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. These changes have been made in full partnership with eSSENTIAL Accessibility Inc., a Canadian company committed to making online environments instantly accessible to people with physical disabilities.

When we eliminate barriers to information, people are able to participate more fully in social, civic and economic life, and reach their full potential. Our party will continue working with people with physical disabilities to improve their ability to communicate in an inclusive, accessible manner.

I call on the federal government to join other jurisdictions in finding innovative ways of increasing national accessibility to digital information for disabled persons.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is firmly committed to improving infrastructure in Canada, because we know how important it is to our economic growth and prosperity. No government in history has invested as much as we have with our $33 billion building Canada plan and the economic action plan.

Today the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities made an important announcement about how we plan to support infrastructure across Canada in the future.

I am very proud that our government is partnering with the provinces and territories, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to develop a new long-term infrastructure plan that will replace the building Canada plan after 2014.

The economy remains our government's number one priority. Building world-class infrastructure in Canada is good for job creation and it enhances our competitiveness. Together with our supportive partners, we will continue to build on our enormously successful building Canada plan.

I call on the opposition parties to finally get on the right side of this issue and support this important plan that is supported by our partners right across this great country.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, more and more people oppose the Conservatives' unbalanced incarceration agenda. The provinces have indicated that they do not have the means to pay for it. Police chiefs say that the Conservatives' approach is unbalanced. Families want more police officers on the street, not bigger prisons. And we now know that even the Minister of Public Safety thinks this bill is seriously flawed. He has even proposed amendments to the Conservatives' bill.

However, his own incompetence got in the way. It turns out that he cannot invoke closure, shut down debate and then put forward amendments.

The Conservatives now have a choice to make. They can stand with the chiefs of police, with provinces, with families, with their own Minister of Public Safety and vote against this failed prisons agenda.

If the public safety minister has any shred of integrity whatsoever, he will stand with others who know the bill is flawed and vote against it.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week I had the opportunity to read a new job-killing scheme from a backroom NDP strategist.

It is clear that the NDP actually believes that money is spent on tax cuts. The NDP actually believes that income does not belong to Canadians, that it is just the money government has been kind enough not to tax.

Our government has cut taxes so Canadians can spend and invest their tax savings into our economy and job creators can spend their tax savings, invest in new equipment and technology and hire new employees. Thanks to our Conservative government, Canadians are paying a lot less tax than they used to. In fact, the average Canadian family pays up to $3,000 less in taxes than it used to before we took office. The NDP opposed this tax relief.

The NDP's plans to impose job-killing taxes on Canadian families and business is the last thing our economy needs.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I was in Attawapiskat yesterday, and I want to tell the Prime Minister about the situation in that community. It is terrible, unimaginable, worse than anything we could imagine. People are living in shacks, tents and trailers. There is no running water, no heating. The little heat they do have could turn their shelters into fire traps. They are sleeping on mouldy mattresses and their children are living outdoors. What will the Prime Minister do? Will he show some leadership and go to visit these people?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the government has invested more than $90 million in this community and these results are unacceptable. That is why we are taking immediate action to help these people who are in need of immediate assistance. The government will also take action to improve the long-term management in the community. The minister will make an announcement about that later.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the Prime Minister that we cannot just throw money at Attawapiskat and think that all its problems will be solved. It is true that this requires a short-, medium- and long-term plan. It takes political will, which we have not seen in the past 10 years. What is the Prime Minister waiting for? Where is his leadership?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the government that is taking action and the opposition that is voting against investments in this community. I will say it again: this government has invested more than $90 million. The results are unacceptable, and we will take other steps to obtain better results.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has to take responsibility. He has to take charge. It is his duty to help the people of Attawapiskat, an entire Canadian community living in third world conditions in the Arctic cold. It is minus 22°C today. That is what we see right now.

The Prime Minister should go there and see for himself. He should sleep in a shack in a sleeping bag. He would see that the sleeping bags provided by the Red Cross are not the solution. We need better. Winter is coming. Where is the action? Where is the leadership?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has invested more than $90 million in this community since coming to office. Obviously the results are not satisfactory.

That is why the government has people on the ground taking additional emergency action. It is also why we will be announcing additional steps to deal with management problems in this community.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, a state of emergency was declared in Attawapiskat a month ago. The situation is very serious. The Red Cross disaster relief team is on the ground now. But we want to know where the federal government's plan is. The government must work with the community to find a long-term solution.

Will the government declare a state of emergency and assist the people in distress in Attawapiskat?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are continuing to work with the province and the community to implement the emergency management plan to ensure the residents have access to warm, dry and safe shelter.

On the ground assessment has determined that urgent health and safety issues demand immediate action. Therefore, we have informed Chief Spence that we are placing the first nation in third party management.

I have also requested a comprehensive audit to identify how money has been spent and what oversight measures have been taken over the past five years.