This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wineries.

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 Toronto Centre.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Religious FreedomStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, when Prime Minister Diefenbaker introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights, he said, “I am a Canadian...free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way...”.

We believe this freedom to worship or not to worship as one sees fit as fundamental and that supporting it will support all other rights and freedoms.

We understand that religious freedom requires a separation of church and state, but this does not mean that we must separate ourselves from God.

Freedom of religion does not mean public spaces and public discourse must be free from religious expression. We should not, in the name of tolerance, become completely intolerant of public worship in any form.

History has shown that societies that protect religious freedoms are those societies that prosper and enjoy all other fundamental freedoms. That is why we are committed to the office of religious freedom as part of our commitment to stand up for freedom at home and all around the world.

Federation of Canadian MunicipalitiesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, representing 2,000 democratically elected local governments, for bringing to Ottawa an important message last week about the value of working collaboratively. It made a strong case for being at the table to help develop a federal infrastructure plan that ensures future funding is stable and addresses the needs of our communities.

Many regions, like Victoria, are looking for better ways to fund green infrastructure like public transit or secondary waste treatment.

Now would be a perfect time for the federal government to work with the FCM to establish an innovative sustainable capital fund, kick-starting integrated projects that solve several issues at once, and provide environmental, social and community-based economic benefits.

I congratulate FCM for its hard work in keeping our cities healthy and vibrant.

Mayor of Williams Lake, B.C.Statements By Members

December 7th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, Kerry Cook, the newly re-elected mayor of Williams Lake, B.C. got a strong message from the residents of that city in the recent civic elections.

Her voters said, “Kerry, we think you have done an incredible job as our mayor and we want you to continue with the great leadership you have given us”, and, they said, “we know of your dedication to Williams Lake and the people who live there and we know you're going to do whatever you can to make sure the town remains strong and vibrant and economically viable”.

Then they voted. In the three-way race against very strong opponents, Kerry Cook received almost 50% of the vote, a huge outpouring of support and acknowledgement of the great job she has done in her first term of office.

I congratulate Kerry Cook and I look forward to once again working with her and her council as we all strive to make Williams Lake an even greater place to live.

IraqStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, in the Zakho constituency and in Summel, both in the north of Iraq, the safety of Christians was yet again threatened by those pursuing a path of religious intolerance.

This time, terrorist gangs and extremists were incited to take to the streets as a demonstration against Christian beliefs. These demonstrations quickly and predictably turned ugly as the demonstrators looted and burned shops, liquor stores and banks.

The result was financial losses for the area Christians and, for those who complained about their losses, further personal violence was doled out.

The Chaldean Syriac Assyrian people, and in fact all Christians in Iraq, are facing appalling acts of violence and religious persecution on a daily basis. Government authorities in Iraq are either unwilling or unable to protect this vulnerable minority group from violence that borders on systemic.

I condemn these practices and I call upon the government and all parliamentarians to take action to ensure that the international community does what it can to protect the Christians in Iraq.

Child PornographyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, eradicating child pornography is something that is very important to us. In recent weeks, a children's support group has done an excellent job campaigning for harsher penalties for people who view child pornography.

Child Safe Nation and its Quebec equivalent, Protéger nos enfants, joined together to collect tens of thousands of signatures in Canada and Quebec from people calling on our government to strengthen laws against individuals who produce and view child pornography.

As we know, this is a huge challenge, since child pornography has no boundaries.

I would also like to thank Dr. Russel Eyestone, from Quebec City, who helped mobilize Quebeckers on this issue.

PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

François Pilon NDP Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by taking this opportunity to wish the people of Laval—Les Îles a happy holiday season. Second, I also wish that all parliamentarians would come together and resolve to make this country a better place for our children. We are part of the same institution that, in 1989, promised to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000.

It is now 2011 and some 640,000 children are still living below the poverty line. Two of every five food bank users are children. We must also recognize that this government has never made the fight against poverty a top priority in any of its budgets and that the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. For the happiness of our children, let us show some humanity and do everything we can to eliminate child poverty in Canada.

I wish everyone a happy holiday season.

PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, at this special time of year, as 2011 winds down to give way to 2012 and new beginnings, I ask all Canadians to pause and reflect on those who do not mark the year's end with abundance and to consider those who need the comfort of friends and the kindness of strangers, especially the children.

In my B.C. riding of Delta—Richmond East, echoed throughout Canada I know, I applaud the effort and the caring consideration shown by committed members of our many community service clubs and organizations, such as Delta Assist, the Richmond Food Bank and our three Legions in Ladner, Tsawwassen and Richmond that create and distribute food hampers for needy families.

I also want to recognize school initiatives and the opportunities they provide for children to share with other children.

Christmas is such a special time of year. I wish my parliamentary colleagues and all Canadians a joyous holiday season and a very merry Christmas.

Riding of Kitchener CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend in Kitchener, local resident Julianna Yau Yorgan is donating her 30th birthday to the foundation that supports Toronto's Sickkids Hospital. Sponsors have covered the event cost and people who attend will each donate $100. Julianna hopes to raise $10,000.

This is a praiseworthy example of the generosity of the Christmas season. It is an example of the innovative ways Kitchener-Waterloo citizens find to contribute to the well-being of our neighbours.

On Saturday, I will be helping out with food hamper delivery for our House of Friendship that delivers aid through a myriad of services. I will be ringing the bell for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle, another group whose generosity is unbounded.

With the Working Centre, Anselma House, St. Vincent de Paul, Marillac Place, among others, and people like Julianna Yau Yorgan, these neighbours inspire me with hope and make me very proud to be the member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre.

Search and RescueStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, there is public contempt over the defence minister's use of a search and rescue helicopter as a personal taxi. There is real contempt back home in Newfoundland and Labrador, not so much over the misuse of a government aircraft, which is almost routine, not even because the defence minister misled Parliament. What is most unforgivable about the minister's embarrassing actions is that they take away from the real story, that being the search and rescue response time of the Cormorants, which is 30 minutes during working hours, 2 hours during evenings and on weekends.

Can members imagine a fire department operating with one response time during the day and another during the night?

The emergency response times of the Cougar helicopters that service the offshore oil industry will soon be 20 minutes around the clock.

I can tell members that the survival time of an offshore oil worker in the North Atlantic is the exact same as the survival time for a fisherman. There should be one universal response time for the offshore. That is where the contempt originates.

Coach of the B.C. LionsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Wally Buono, who, earlier this week, announced his retirement as head coach of the B.C. Lions. For the past nine seasons, he has been the architect of our successful Leos. Under his leadership, the Lions have won our province two Grey Cups, most recently 10 days ago at the newly renovated B.C. Place.

Through his work, the Lions are winners on and off the field. Coach Buono's personal values permeate the organization as players and coaches make important contributions to our communities. They even partnered with our government in a campaign to end violence against women.

He has won Grey Cups as a coach with B.C. and Calgary, and as a player with Montreal. These are a wonderful part of his legacy, as he leaves the sidelines and moves to focus his work on the front office.

On behalf of all members of Parliament and all British Columbians, I wish Wally well in the all his future endeavours.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I wear a purple ribbon to remember and honour women and children who have lost their lives at the hands of a person they once loved and trusted. The second annual Purple Ribbon Campaign, organized by Tri-City Transitions, is part of the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Its theme this year is “Peace Begins at Home”.

I congratulate Tri-City Transitions, which provides vital support to those affected by violence and abuse. It operates a women's resource centre, a transition house with an emergency shelter and provides counselling and victim assistance programs.

Today I introduced a motion calling on the government to take five specific actions to help end gender violence, including raising awareness of the issue and its root causes, as well as increasing gender equality.

I encourage all members of the House to take action and help break the cycle of abuse.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, as noted, Canada is taking part in the worldwide campaign on 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

The reality is that violence against women still too often occurs in our society. The question used to be: Why should we work with men and boys on ending violence against women and girls? The question now is: How can it be done?

I salute the White Ribbon Campaign, which began in Canada with a handful of men who decided to urge other men to speak out. Its work has been so recognized that we now see other groups involved in this campaign. Wearing the white ribbon represents a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.

Men and boys need to stand alongside women and girls when it comes to ending violence.

IranStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join fellow parliamentarians from around the world representing the Inter-parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran to stand in solidarity on this international Student Day in Iran with those who are courageously protesting the Iranian regime's systematic campaign of fear, violence and repression.

We call for the immediate release of university students jailed for no other reason than exercising their rights to freedom of expression. We call for the immediate release of the imprisoned Baha'i educators and leaders along with all Iranian political prisoners.

To those brave students who advocate for a free and democratic Iran, who represent the hope for freedom and democracy, we proclaim here today that we stand with them, that we will be there with them and that we will share freedom and democracy together.

Wreaths Across CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Conservative Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we as Canadians ensure that remembering our veterans is not confined to November 11. We should take the time throughout the year to remember and honour the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

It is for this reason that I rise today in the House to commend the work of Wreaths Across Canada. These wonderful volunteers encourage Canadians to honour fallen troops by laying wreaths at military headstones across the country, and they marked the inaugural event at Beechwood National Cemetery this week.

Over a quarter million veterans are buried in military cemeteries across Canada, and this organization is working hard to raise awareness and to honour our veterans who are buried in military cemeteries here at home.

Lest we forget.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, more and more of the Conservatives are showing that they are just not fit to govern.

The member for Lethbridge offended victims of gun violence by mimicking a six-shooter pistol during a vote on the gun registry. Even worse, ministers are tripping over their own logic as they make policy up on the fly.

First the Minister of Public Safety says that Bill C-19 would not impact how gun sales are reported, until the RCMP steps in and says that is just not true.

Then the minister's parliamentary secretary claims, with a straight face, that income tax forms can track firearms just as well as the registry. In fact, the RCMP report on gun control says that the changes will lead to the proliferation of firearms and that private sales will take place without any records and that the rules would be unenforceable.

The government is just making stuff up as it goes along.

The fact is the Conservatives have destroyed our last safeguard against deadly firearms, and they did it on the back of a napkin. The RCMP knows it and victims know it. As the member for Lethbridge should know, that is nothing to celebrate.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the high-tax NDP has no idea when it comes to jobs and the economy. As the debate last weekend showed, the New Democrats support tax hikes for job creators, consumers, investors, families, banks, even a job-killing carbon tax that would hike the price of gas, energy and almost everything else.

The NDP wants Canadians to pay more, but offers nothing that creates jobs or prosperity for the future. The NDP wants lavish spending schemes and would push Canada off track to balanced budgets. Sadly, the NDP still looks at the ex-NDP premier of Ontario as a model for economic management. The NDP wants to halt development of the oil sands, which would kill billions in investments and hundreds of Canadian jobs.

These are not policies that would secure Canada's economic future. Its lack of economic leadership is just another worrying example that the NDP is not fit to govern.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a federal court judge has ruled that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Conservative government have broken the law. They breached the Canadian Wheat Board Act by making changes without holding a referendum among producers first.

In light of this development, will the government do the right thing and back off the Wheat Board?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we were as disappointed as western farmers were with the decision that was brought down today. We will be appealing that decision because, quite frankly, we believe in marketing freedom for Canadian farmers, unlike the NDP, which wants to legalize marijuana and the sale of it but criminalize the sale of western barley.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are quite far from the Wheat Board.

The Prime Minister is in Washington today to sign a new border agreement with the United States. I guess Canadian politicians can go to Washington after all.

Very little information has filtered from these secret negotiations. Canadians have had almost no input. The government will not even say what it has been negotiating away behind closed doors.

Could the government confirm that the cost of the new border deal will be $1 billion?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the contrast is rather striking. When the NDP members of Parliament go to Washington, it is to lobby against Canadian jobs. It is to lobby against Canadian exports. It is to lobby against private sector unionized workplaces and workers.

By contrast, when our Prime Minister goes to Washington, it is to lobby to create Canadian jobs and opportunities for Canadian businesses.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are worried, and rightfully so. They want to know how far Uncle Sam will be able to pry into their business because of this agreement. We still do not know what information is at stake. It is a secret that the government refuses to disclose.

Can the government elaborate on the information that will be shared with the Americans? Are the Conservatives going to heed the Privacy Commissioner's recommendations for enhancing privacy protection?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are defending the interests of Canadians. This is about our national security. However, the most important thing is that we are going to create jobs and opportunities for our businesses because that is our priority.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, our jobs, our border communities and our privacy are at stake. Canadians need to know that this deal will get results.

We have seen it before. The government sits down with the Americans and we end up with a thicker, slower and more costly border, airport taxes, airport delays, border delays and the lowest level of Canadian exports to the U.S. since 1982.

How do we know this deal will actually increase trade between Canada and the United States? What facts can the government table today that show it will get results for Canadians?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the member to await the outcome of these negotiations. I would also remind him that trade is absolutely critical to Canada's national prosperity. Trade is critical to driving economic growth.

I want to remind the member that over the years the NDP has consistently opposed trade with the United States and with every other country around the world. The NDP has opposed every free trade agreement our country has ever signed.

This Conservative government stands up for Canadians and focuses on the economy and on creating jobs.