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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

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 Chatham-Kent—Essex.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Cubs and BeaversStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I recognize Mrs. Gloria Partlo, also affectionately known as Akela.

For over 60 years, Gloria has tirelessly dedicated her time and energy to making Etobicoke a better place through her service as a leader with the Cubs and Beavers at the Mighty 4th Humber West Scout Group.

Gloria's contributions to youth in Etobicoke are boundless. She arranges fall and summer camps and organizes weekly meetings for youth in the riding. She is a role model for other leaders. She uses her amazing organizational skills to provide a great scouting experience for all.

It is the unsung heroes like Gloria who keep our communities safe and give young people wonderful opportunities to thrive and live up to the cub motto of “doing your best”.

Today, I congratulate Gloria Partlo for her tireless commitment to youth and Scouts Canada. The cub promise states, “to do a good turn for somebody every day.”

This promise embodies the spirit and dedication which have defined Gloria Partlo's life. We thank Gloria for making Etobicoke Centre the superb community it is.

National Food StrategyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, farmers and many other Canadians are very concerned about the Conservative government's move to be the first country in the world to allow, for the convenience of trade, the low level presence of genetically engineered food not approved for safety in Canada.

Sacrificing health and farmers' livelihoods to force an undemocratic and unnecessary food technology on the rest of the world is a reprehensible approach to food policy.

I am especially concerned for the markets of organic farmers, such as Kevin and Annamarie Klippenstein, of Cawston, B.C., this year's winners of the national outstanding young farmers award.

If the government does nothing to protect them from U.S. approved GE alfalfa spreading its unwanted genes into our country where it is currently illegal, they will be forced out of business.

This is not at all what Canadians have in mind in their calls for a national food strategy to help them meet the many challenges of our increasingly unpredictable world.

Annual Business AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to recognize a number of organizations in my riding that won awards from the Medicine Hat Chamber of Commerce's annual business awards, in conjunction with National Small Business Week.

Many category winners go on and compete at the prestigious Alberta Business Awards of Distinction hosted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.

I would like to enumerate a few of the winners today. First, congratulations to Outlaw Collision and Custom Coatings for having won the award of excellence. I also congratulate Premium Sausage for having won small business of the year, and Blue Imp Recreational Products for having won large business of the year.

The Brooks and District Chamber of Commerce also handed out its best in business annual awards. I congratulate Liberty Trucking for having won business of the year award in the category of under 20 employees. I also congratulate Brooks Industrial Metals for having won the business of the year award in the category of over 20 employees.

I am very proud of the entrepreneurial spirit of the businesses in my riding, and wish them all continued success.

Casa d'ItaliaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 5 of this year, I had the honour of attending the annual banquet for the Casa d'Italia, the major fundraising event that enables it to finance its operations.

For the last three years, this banquet has been magnificently chaired by Angela Minicucci, who must be congratulated for raising over $300,000 during this period.

Originally founded in 1936, this community centre was a second home to Montrealers of Italian origin. The centre welcomed thousands of people and provided a vast array of services, from reading and filling out forms to providing counselling and financial support.

With the growth of the Italian Canadian community, this jewel in the heart of Montreal's Little Italy has renewed itself. Under the leadership of its executive director Pasquale Iacobacci and the co-chairmanship of Angela Minicucci and Ciro Cucciniello, the Casa d'Italia facility has undergone a major renovation. The renovation preserved its original design, and the building is considered one of the last art deco buildings in the city. It also underwent a change in mission. It has become the hub for the preservation of Italian Canadian history and culture. It promotes intergenerational and intercultural exchanges and provides a home for numerous Italian Canadian organizations.

Auguri, Casa d'Italia on 75 years of existence.

YMCA Peace MedalsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize two special people from my riding, Mr. Doug Bates and Ms. Rhian Catton, who recently received the adult and youth YMCA peace medals for Northumberland County.

Mr. Bates, who earlier this year tragically lost his seven-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, in a traffic accident, received the award for establishing the Kaitlyn Bates Foundation. This foundation helps girls deal with self-esteem problems, an issue which Mr. Bates says Kaitlyn had already become quite passionate about.

Ms. Catton, a grade 12 student from Cobourg District Collegiate Institute, received her award for her work within the community. Ms. Catton was recognized for establishing a support group for grade nine students making the transition to high school. She also organized Halloween for Hunger, an initiative that encouraged students to trick-or-treat for canned goods that were then donated to local food banks.

I would encourage every Canadian citizen to follow the lead of Mr. Bates and Ms. Catton. Take time this holiday season to help and support those in need.

Merry Christmas to all.

Nobel Prize in MedicineStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, Claudia Steinman accepted the Nobel Prize in Medicine on behalf of her late husband. In an emotional gesture, she blew a kiss towards the sky.

Dr. Ralph Steinman, a Canadian cell biologist, was born in Montreal and studied at McGill University. In 1973, he discovered dendritic cells, an important element of our immune system.

This discovery greatly contributed to medical research. He shares the Nobel Prize with scientists Dr. Beutler and Dr. Hoffmann, who in 1990 discovered specific properties of certain proteins.

With this tribute, I would like to salute the perseverance and determination of our researchers and scientists. They remind us that curiosity and an independent spirit are signs of courage and that the dreamers of today may be the Nobel Prize winners of tomorrow.

JusticeStatements By Members

December 14th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to recognize and thank Justice Robert Thompson for his notable career accomplishments and congratulate him on his new role as supernumerary justice of the Supreme Court. He is recognized and well known in Bruce and Grey counties for his firm, but fair, sentencing of criminals.

Justice Thompson was called to the bar of Ontario in 1974. He practised litigation at a firm in Brantford and was a federal prosecutor from 1974 to 1996. He was appointed a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice, General Division, now the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, on February 20, 1996, and continued in this role until October 2011. Justice Thompson will continue to serve as a judge with supernumerary status.

I would also like to congratulate Justice Thompson's successor, Justice Clayton Conlan, who will be sworn in at the new courthouse in Owen Sound on December 20.

In closing, I would like to wish Justice Thompson and Justice Conlan well in their future endeavours.

New Democratic PartyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, is it acceptable for two members of the same party to say two completely different things about the same subject? Well, that is what the NDP is doing.

While all Canadians and Quebeckers welcome reasonable measures to promote the importance of Canadian citizenship and Canadian values, when asked about the issue of veils being worn during citizenship ceremonies, the NDP immigration critic and member for Vancouver Kingsway said in English that he believes that the minister should slow down a bit and consult with people. Meanwhile, the member for Saint-Lambert was saying in French that she agrees with the measure.

This double-talk on the part of the opposition speaks volumes about the party's credibility and proves that it is not listening to Canadians.

Our government will continue to promote the importance of Canadian citizenship and Canadian values.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, 50 years ago today, a woman was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec for the first time. On December 14, 1961, Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain was elected to represent the riding of Jacques-Cartier.

This event helped change many things for women in Quebec. Ms. Kirkland-Casgrain, who became a cabinet minister, was instrumental in the passage of bill 16, which put an end to the legal incapacity of married women in the Civil Code.

Since 1961, 104 women have been elected to the National Assembly and 40 of them have gone on to become cabinet ministers.

This anniversary reminds us that we have come a long way in terms of the representation of women in various aspects of society. Nonetheless, women are still under-represented in politics at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

On this anniversary, let us take a moment to thank pioneers like Ms. Kirkland-Casgrain and reflect on ways to achieve better representation of women in this House.

Canadian ExportsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and celebrate Canada's brilliant musicians. For the first time in history, our northern stars represent four of the five bestselling albums in the world's largest record market, the United States. Michael Bublé, Justin Bieber, Drake and Nickelback are currently showing the world that Canadian talent is a superb export.

Canadian music has always been among the best, if not the best in the world. From Joni Mitchell to Céline Dion, we have always had an unforgettable presence on the international music scene.

Canadian stars are not limited to the music business. Our manufacturers and producers have consistently strong sales in the U.S. market. Companies such as Research In Motion, the maker of the ubiquitous BlackBerry, are also stars in the open market. Our government's recent perimeter deal with the U.S. means there will be easier access for our Canadian producers to succeed as our gifted musicians have, allowing Canada to grow and prosper. That is music to our ears.

Barbara WallaceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, on November 12, at the age of 93, a community leader and local icon passed away.

Barbara Wallace was a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Cowichan-Malahat from 1975 to 1986. I first met Barbara when I was running for Parliament and she grilled me on my dedication to our community. Barbara needed to know that my commitment to social democratic values matched her own before she added her support.

Throughout her life she fought for equality, peace, freedom from poverty, environmental protection, food security and social justice. She engaged with others in the political process, working to make her community better. Even after she retired from politics, she continued working in her community through the Cedar Women's Institute, an organization that fights for sustainability, ecological respect and local agricultural independence. She was a fierce local advocate, a highly respected MLA and a dedicated New Democrat. She will be missed.

IraqStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the expected closure of Camp Ashraf just weeks away, Canada remains deeply concerned about the future well-being and safety of the over 3,000 men and women presently living in the camp.

Over the last number of years, Canadian officials have made numerous visits to Camp Ashraf and we are pleased that their efforts have resulted in the safe return to Canada of nine Canadians. At the direction of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, an official from the Canadian embassy will be making another visit today to monitor the situation and to offer assistance.

Our government has raised and will continue to raise the issue of Camp Ashraf directly with the Iraqi government, both in Ottawa and in Baghdad, and we strongly encourage it to extend the closure deadline to allow remaining residents sufficient time to seek asylum. We also call on Iraq to meet its obligations under international law and to ensure that Camp Ashraf residents are not forcibly transferred to another country where they could suffer.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, regardless of the revisionist history heard from the government benches in recent days, it was a Liberal government in 2005 that created project green, a series of regulations and programs to implement our Kyoto commitments and build a sustainable and competitive economy.

Doubting the science behind climate change, the Conservative government set about dismantling project green when it came to power, cancelling $10 billion in funding that would have seen us reach 80% of our targets and, more important, would have created green sustainable jobs while fighting greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

Since 2006, we have been on a descent from our internationally recognized position of leadership on the environment, now hitting bottom with our withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol.

The environment is not a partisan issue. It is too important for talking points. Canada needs a plan and it needs to implement it immediately. As a developed country, we must lead the way by creating green, sustainable jobs, cogent ways to combat our harmful emissions and set an example for developing countries to follow.

Scarborough Historical MuseumStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr.Speaker, I rise today to talk about the Scarborough Historical Museum located at the entrance of Thomson Memorial Park in my riding of Scarborough Centre.

Earlier this year, I met the museum's curator, Madelaine Callaghan, and stepped through the doors of yesteryear by way of a museum tour. I also had the opportunity to meet many of the wonderful youth who had benefited from the museum's youth diversity experience program, a program designed to integrate newcomer youth into their community through heritage and cultural projects. That is why I am very pleased to hear that, under the interaction multicultural grants and contributions program of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Scarborough museum has received a $400,000 grant to expand and enhance this program.

I congratulate Ms. Callaghan on the expansion of the youth program. I also want to recognize the Scarborough museum as an important part of our Canadian heritage.

HealthStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is astounding that the Conservative government plans to determine the future funding for health care based on economic growth. This comes after the government has long promised an annual 6% increase. It is an outrage that the government would consider cutting its increase in half and threaten the stability of front line health care services.

While the government is ready to cut future funding to health care, it has still not delivered on the promises made in the 2004 accord.

This week, the Health Council of Canada reported that 23% of chronically ill Canadians cannot afford their medications. This is why the government must uphold its current commitments and fulfill the promises of 2004, including a national prescription drug coverage plan. Now is the time to act on health care, not to cut its funding.

The provinces need leadership and accountability from the federal government to sustain our public health care system. Why is it backing away from the table signalling that Canadians' number one concern is not shared by the government?

ChristmasStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Christmas is approaching and again the forces of political correctness continue with the relentless attack on the traditional traditions: judges remove Christmas trees from the court houses; school concerts are postponed to take away the Christmas theme; the lyrics of Christmas carols are changed; the distribution of candy canes is banned; and all the references to God, Christ and the Lord are removed.

Traditions are the foundation of society, culture and the faith. If we eliminate or water them down, we erode the glue that holds us together.

To embrace a diverse, secular, multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society, there is no need to preclude the celebration of Christmas. Rather than diluting the traditions, they should be celebrated, whether they are Vaisakhi, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Eid, Hanukkah or Christmas.

We must proudly put the spirit of Christmas back in Christmas.

I wish everyone a merry Christmas.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister showed that he does not understand how serious the threat of climate change is when he said that the Kyoto targets were stupid. What is really stupid is the Conservatives' inaction on climate change. That is what is stupid.

Will the Prime Minister wake up and finally put in place some real targets to combat climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is a fact that the Kyoto targets were unattainable, even when the accord was signed. That is why the government that signed the accord did not have a plan to implement it. That is also why we are working with the international community to create a protocol that will include all the major emitters in the world.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, talking about stupid things, let us talk about the F-35 fiasco.

The Pentagon is now recommending slowing down the production. Delivery of the aircraft was expected for 2016 but it clearly will not happen. There are too many flaws, too many problems and it is too costly.

The Associate Minister of National Defence talked about a plan B last month. Israel has brought in a plan B. Japan has doubts.

Would the Prime Minister tell us what plan B is for the F-35?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I know very well that every time the government provides our men and women in uniform with the equipment they need, the NDP loudly opposes that and votes against it.

We are working on the best advice of the Canadian industry, including the Quebec industry and our men and women in uniform in the air force. We will continue to move forward to ensure they have the best aircraft that are available when we need to replace the current fleet.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the F-35 is a real quagmire, a money pit. The Prime Minister should realize this instead of continuing to sink in that quagmire. This aircraft does not work. We have learned that if, in the end, the plane does successfully get off the ground, our pilots will not even be able to train in Canada. They will have to spend 10 years in Florida. That is practical: Florida to simulate the Arctic.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the F-35 program is just a big joke?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the F-35 is an aircraft that is supported not only by aviators in the Canadian Forces but also by the aviation industry, including Quebec's aerospace industry. I note that the NDP and NDP members from Quebec regularly oppose the interests of Quebec industries. Clearly, this government supports industries throughout the country.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, respectfully, I would caution the Prime Minister against borrowing from the Associate Minister of National Defence's speaking points because just yesterday the air force commander contradicted those very speaking points. He said that F-35 training might take place in Canada at some point maybe, but not for a decade. Documents from National Defence say that there might be no training in Canada at all.

Could the Associate Minister of National Defence explain why he gave the House incorrect information? Does the Associate Minister of National Defence have any idea what he is doing on this file?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the construct of that question illustrates an absolute desperation.

My response about training that I gave on November 4 was, “We are moving training to Canada”. The chief of air staff stated, “My intention is to move training to Canada”.

We are both right, while the member opposite is wrong.