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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

CopyrightStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in the special legislative committee dedicated to Bill C-32, we heard from groups representing students from colleges and universities. We also heard from the Canadian Museums Association.

The message we heard very clearly was that Bill C-32 was indeed balanced. We also heard that the Bill C-32 opened up opportunities for the future for Canada's economy, for our students, for our places of higher learning and for industry.

My question for opposition members is very simple. Why are they obstructing and delaying Bill C-32 at committee? Why are we not getting the additional meetings we need for the consideration of the bill so we can return it to the House and open up opportunities for Canada? Why are they holding up protections for creators? Why are they holding back Canada's digital economy?

IndonesiaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on the horrendous events that took place on February 6 in Indonesia.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat were publicly killed in the streets and the police failed to protect them. The Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia was established in 1926 and was formally recognized by the government in 1953.

The Ahmadiyyas espouse the Islamic ethics of tolerance, brotherhood, generosity and assistance to the poor and the needy. Indonesia has long embodied the philosophy of allowing different interpretations of Islam.

Prophet Muhammad viewed differences of opinion as a blessing from God. Islam espouses the cosmopolitan ethic: respect among peoples of all faiths and no faith, respect for the dignity of the human person without any discrimination.

I therefore urge the Canadian government to seek assurance from the Indonesian government that it will not allow radicals to take over the country's agenda and that it will ensure protection of all minorities.

TaxationStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party has a plan to raise taxes. He is openly and unambiguously calling for a $6 billion tax increase, not a tax freeze but a tax hike.

The Liberal leader is demanding that his new tax hike be included in the next budget. If we do not support his plan to hike taxes, he will vote against the budget to force an election that Canadians do not want.

His reckless and dangerous tax hike proposal will stop our recovery in its tracks and it will hurt job creation. No wonder he is proud to call himself a “tax and spend“ Liberal.

Canada's continued job growth shows our economic action plan and our low tax agenda are achieving positive results for Canadian families.

Our government believes in keeping taxes low. We need to continue with our low tax plan to create jobs, not the Liberal leader's high tax agenda, which will stall our job recovery, kill jobs and set hard-working families back.

Wawa Rotary ClubStatements by Members

February 15th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Wawa Rotary Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. I was fortunate enough to join its members last weekend as they hosted close to 100 youth as part of the Rotary International Youth Exchange.

The Wawa chapter is part of International District 6290, which also includes a club in Blind River and joins District 7010 with clubs in Elliot Lake, Chapleau, Kapuskasing, Gore Bay and Hearst, in serving the communities of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing.

Rotarians are involved with programs that deliver on both the local and international levels, as exemplified by their campaign to eradicate polio. Their motto is “Service Above Self”, something I was able to witness first-hand.

The young people who came to Wawa from all over the world spent a day doing leadership training before taking part in a “Fun in the Snow” day, where many were able to experience things like snowshoeing and ice fishing for the first time.

Community service is important everywhere, but in small-town northern Ontario, it is the bedrock these places are built on. I salute the Wawa Rotary Club and all volunteer groups in the north for doing important work and bringing the communities closer in the process.

IranStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, Iranians in Tehran gathered in the thousands in support of pro-democracy protests in Egypt. Regrettably, approximately 10,000 Iranian security force members used tear gas, batons and pepper spray against those assembled.

What is hypocritical is the support the Iranian regime gave to the democratic movement in Egypt, yet the same regime uses violence to suppress the same demands in Iran.

Canada calls upon the Iranian authorities to allow for peaceful protests and to set free any protestors who may have been imprisoned.

We are also deeply disturbed by calls from Iranian officials for the execution of protestors.

Canada believes that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are universal rights. Iranian citizens should be free to express their political views and affiliations without fear of punishment or imprisonment.

Middle East Protest MovementsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the jasmine revolution in Tunisia and the popular democratic protest movement in Egypt, the movement is now expanding to other countries in the Middle East, such as Iran.

After the massive demonstrations that were held in the country in 2009 to protest the results of the presidential election won by Ahmadinejad, the green movement has mobilized yet again. A demonstration was held yesterday in Tehran, in support of the Egyptian and Tunisian people, at which the existing Iranian regime was also protested. This demonstration was harshly repressed: people were shot dead, tear gas was fired and opposition leaders were put under house arrest.

The Bloc Québécois supports these popular and democratic protest movements and denounces the conservative elected officials in the Iranian Parliament who now want the death penalty for the opposition leaders accused of leading yesterday's demonstration. The Iranian people must be able to freely express themselves.

National Flag DayStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was 46 years ago today that Canada reached a defining moment in its identity, as the red and white maple leaf flag was first raised over Parliament Hill and communities across the country.

In 1964, the great flag debate took place between the government of former Liberal Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and the Progressive Conservatives led by John Diefenbaker who wanted to keep the old red ensign.

This impasse ended in 1965, with the adoption of the maple leaf flag chosen by a parliamentary committee chaired by former Liberal MP John Matheson and designed by former New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor George Stanley.

Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien created National Flag Day in 1996 to commemorate the day that our flag was raised for the first time, February 15, 1965, as well as to remember the great flag debate. I encourage all Canadians to make the most of National Flag Day by hoisting the maple leaf and reflecting on what it means to be a citizen of this absolutely extraordinary country.

National Flag DayStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was not the flag in days of yore; not Wolfe's flag, nor Sir John A.'s. It was not the flag of Vimy or Passchendaele. It was not even the flag of Mr. Diefenbaker.

Yet it is “our emblem dear”. When we welcomed the world at Expo in 1967, when we won the 1972 series against the Soviet Union, when we set a Winter Olympic record for gold medals last year in Vancouver, it was our flag.

We are proud to be here representing Canadians under our single red maple leaf raised 46 years ago. Well, most of us are proud. One MP, however, has said, and I quote:

In the case of the Canadian flag, I cannot entirely forget that it is both my flag and a passing imitation of a beer label.

The Liberal leader should be ashamed of himself. We should all be proud to celebrate Flag Day. As one company has said, “I am Canadian”.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation cut funding to a reputable church organization, then doctored a document from her officials to make it look as if they agreed with her judgment when they did not, and then she misled the House. This is conduct unworthy of a minister.

My question is for the Prime Minister. What consequence will the minister face for misleading the House and the Canadian people?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation has been very clear that she took this decision. These kinds of decisions are the responsibility of ministers. When we spend money on foreign aid, we expect it to be used effectively for foreign aid and that is the decision the minister took.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I did not receive an answer.

The minister cut funding to a religious, Christian organization that is doing a good job. She then altered a document to misrepresent her relationship with her bureaucrats. She also misled the House.

How can she still be a part of cabinet?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has clearly stated, in the House of Commons and in committee, that it was her decision. It is her responsibility to ensure that taxpayers' money is spent effectively for foreign aid. That is what she did.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister is tied up in “nots”. She did not listen to her officials. She did not take responsibility. She did not tell the truth. She did not have the integrity to resign.

How can the Prime Minister not demand her resignation?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the minister has been clear here and in committee repeatedly that this was her decision, as it is supposed to be. When the government spends money and gives out grants and contributions, those are decisions that ministers have to make, that they have to be responsible for.

It is not the decision of appointed officials, it is not the entitlement of outside organizations. It is a decision of the minister to make sure that taxpayers' dollars are used effectively for foreign aid, and that is what she has done.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the CIDA minister admitted that she ordered that the KAIROS document be doctored. She wanted KAIROS and Canadians to believe that it was the CIDA officials who rejected the application, knowing full well that it was not true.

Regrettably, she did not use her statement yesterday to apologize to KAIROS and the millions of Canadians who have supported KAIROS over the last 35 years. Will she do so today?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, here is what the president of CIDA said before a committee of the House. She said, referring to her minister:

This is quite normal, and I certainly was aware of her decision. The inclusion of the word “not” is just a simple reflection of what her decision was, and she has been clear. So that's quite normal.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian NGOs have every right to expect that the funding process be transparent and accountable. The treatment of KAIROS, the Canadian Teachers' Federation and CCIC has been characterized by manipulation, false accusations and untruths.

In order to restore Canadians' confidence in how the Conservative government treats these groups and the poorest of the poor, will she now follow her department's advice and restore the KAIROS funding?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister could not have been clearer. Ten times in committee and again yesterday in this place, she was very clear that the decision to grant a contribution to this organization was hers as the minister. That is the way it is supposed to be and she has taken full responsibility for that decision.

It was the right decision, it was the correct decision, it was a decision based on focusing priorities and focusing limited funds to help the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in the developing world. It was the right decision she made.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked about the refusal to fund the humanitarian organization KAIROS, the Minister of International Cooperation answered many times that KAIROS had been subject to a rigorous review and that it did not meet the government's standards. Now we have learned that the department's officials had approved funding and that the minister blocked it.

Will the Prime Minister relieve the Minister of International Cooperation of her duties for having misled the House, a mistake just as serious as the one committed by the former foreign affairs minister?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has been clear on a number of occasions, here and in committee: it was her decision. It is the responsibility of the minister to make decisions to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are used effectively to achieve the objectives of humanitarian aid.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is avoiding the question. No one is questioning that fact that it is her decision, that she made the decision. What we are saying is that she led us to believe that the officials agreed with her, which is not true. What she did was falsify a document.

Does the Prime Minister find such conduct acceptable? He has no choice. Why does he not act as swiftly as he did with the former minister of status of women? That did not take long. Is the Prime Minister motivated by ingrained ideological reasons?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, here and in committee, on a number of occasions, the minister was clear: it was her decision and not that of her officials. It is the responsibility of the minister to ensure that the government uses public money to achieve the objectives of humanitarian aid. The minister made the right decision.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, here we have another example of misinformation from this government. The Minister of Foreign Affairs led the House to believe that he had not received any requests from the Tunisian authorities for Canada to freeze the assets of former dictator Ben Ali or members of his family. That is not true.

How can the minister deny the many requests made to the Canadian government urging it to take the necessary steps to freeze the assets of Ben Ali?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have always answered my colleague's question clearly. The Tunisian authorities have taken steps. We have encouraged the Tunisian authorities to take steps to allow us to work with them on developing options to freeze the assets of those who are not welcome in Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, how could the minister, yesterday, still maintain his story that he did not receive any request, when a press release from the Tunisian embassy, dated January 26, confirmed that: “the Embassy has taken the necessary steps with the Canadian authorities...to freeze and protect assets...that might be held by ousted President Ben Ali, his wife, and members of their families”?

What more is the minister waiting for to freeze the assets of the Ben Ali family?