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House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Northumberland—Quinte West.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Citizenship CeremoniesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, like most members, I feel a heightened sense of patriotic pride when attending citizenship ceremonies. This certainly was the case recently when I had the privilege of attending the ceremony of Jens Hansen of Beamsville, Ontario.

Since moving from his native Netherlands, a complicated history of bureaucratic red tape has meant that for the past 21 years Jens has officially been stateless. He met and married his Canadian wife, Carolyn, when the two worked in Bermuda and they chose to move to Canada to raise their two fine sons, Kristiaan and Liam.

The family is very active in the community and Jens assists at Community Care and local schools, as well as participating in the Rotary theatre.

In short, he exudes the fine qualities that have made our country of immigrants so great. I was pleased that my office was able to help Jens through the citizenship process.

I would like to congratulate Jens and to thank him for his continuing contributions to our local community and to Canada, the country he can now proudly call his own.

I welcome Jens home.

Jordan River AndersonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is the sixth anniversary of the passing of the late Jordan River Anderson, a young boy from the Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba in whose memory is named “Jordan's Principle”.

Jordan was born with a rare neuromuscular disorder and was ready to go home from the hospital when he was two years old. However, he spent over two more years in the hospital due to a jurisdictional dispute over who should pay for his home care. Tragically, Jordan passed away at five years of age without ever leaving the hospital.

Jordan's Principle honours his memory by affirming that the needs of the child must always supersede jurisdictional disputes.

In December 2007, the House passed a motion unanimously calling on the government to immediately adopt a child-first principle based on Jordan's Principle.

I ask my colleagues in all parties to join me in honouring the memory of Jordan Anderson and call on the government to respect the will of Parliament and fully implement Jordan's Principle without delay.

L'Écho du Nord's 2010 People of the YearStatements By Members

February 2nd, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce you to the 2010 people of the year, as chosen by the newspaper L'Écho du Nord: Joanna Comtois, the woman of the year, and Danny Berger, the man of the year.

Joanna, who is 14 years old, found out when she was 8 that she had Ewing's sarcoma. She now knows that she will never recover. Nevertheless, she established Fondation Espoir or the foundation of hope, which supports pediatric cancer research that, it is hoped, will help other children. This endearing girl has captured everyone's heart through her courage and determination.

Danny Berger, the man of the year, is the co-owner of Vieux Shack, a well-known and popular bar and restaurant in Saint-Jérôme. He is also a popular radio host and DJ. Using his extraordinary communication skills, he led the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge in the Laurentian region. Danny says that talking to people brings him joy, and we can attest that sharing this joy is what guides him and what led him to receive this honour.

Congratulations Joanna and Danny.

Tyeshia JonesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, it saddens me to rise today to remember Tyeshia Jones, a young Cowichan woman brutally murder in my hometown of Duncan. She was doing what many young people do. She was walking home late at night after a party but she never made it. Instead, our community spent days searching for her and was devastated when her body was found.

Sometimes the sad facts about violence against aboriginal women can overwhelm us. A young woman like Tyeshia should have the same expectations of a violence-free life as any other young woman in Canada but aboriginal women are three times more likely to experience violence and are seven times more likely to be murdered.

In Cowichan, we value the lives of our young women and we will walk together to show whoever took her life that we honour Tyeshia and her family. The community will gather for “Take Back the Night - A Walk for Tyeshia Jones” in downtown Duncan on February 18. All are welcome.

We thank the many volunteers who searched for Tyeshia and the many RCMP officers who are investigating her murder.

The Prince Arthur HeraldStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the students at McGill University for founding The Prince Arthur Herald. This newspaper was founded last month and promises to be a beacon of freedom.

All Canadians, including myself, can be proud of the principles this paper seeks to promote. These include: a dedication to the free market system that has provided Canadian society with wealth, prosperity and opportunity for all; the belief in the limitation of state regulation to only the most fundamentally necessary aspects of Canadian life; the freedom of speech and expression, particularly in Canadian political life; along with a belief in a strong and viable national defence to secure the safety of Canadians.

Once again, I would like to congratulate The Prince Arthur Herald and I look forward to the wealth that this nation shall derive from its moral sentiments.

Jose KusugakStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, on January 19, Inuit leader, Jose Kusugak, went on his final journey in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, surrounded by family and friends.

A linguist and broadcaster with CBC North and the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, Jose helped bring new vitality to the Inuktitut language. A political leader, Jose served as president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Kivalliq Inuit Association.

As a founder of Nunavut, Jose was a father of Confederation. He famously said that Inuit are first Canadians and Canadians first. A storyteller, a hockey fan and a negotiator who possessed great wit, intelligence and a big heart, Jose was, above all, a father, a husband and a grandfather.

We take comfort in knowing that Jose left this life where he wanted to be: at home and in his homeland with Nellie and surrounded by the people he loved and who loved him. We thank Jose for all that he has accomplished for Inuit and for Canada.

Nakurmiik. Matna.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, over the recess period, a number of regions in New Brunswick were hit hard by storms and high winds. In my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac, private and public property damage was significant, including along the Saint John River and Keswick River valleys.

During the process, I had an opportunity to spend time on a cleanup crew removing damaged walls and insulation.

It is a terrible sight to see people go through something like that, and even worse when it happens over the holidays.

In spite of the challenges, people are working hard to restore their homes and their lives. I want to express my appreciation and thanks to the many volunteers who have stepped up to assist those folks in need, the local service organizations, community members and businesses who have donated time, money and supplies to the restoration cause and to our valued volunteer firefighters who have played a key role in ensuring community safety.

We hope and pray for continued success in the coming weeks and months as those impacted work to restore their lives. I know the continued dedication of family, friends and community will play a big part in that continued progress.

SecuritiesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 12, the member for Beauce published a letter opposing the Conservative plan to create a national securities commission based in Toronto. He also said that this plan does not respect the Constitution because it intrudes intrusion into provincial jurisdictions. Let us not forget that he has openly defended his position in the past, calling the plan “misguided and unrealistic.” This is yet another voice within the Conservative caucus itself that is speaking out against this plan to centralize.

Now that we all know where the member for Beauce stands, I hope that he will put his money where his mouth is when we reintroduce a motion condemning the Conservative plan and that he will support that motion. Otherwise, it can be assumed that he wrote this letter only out of political opportunism and personal interest.

Bruce HallidayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to and honour the life and memory of Dr. Bruce Halliday, member of Parliament for Oxford from 1974 through 1993.

Dr. Halliday continually strove to serve his community and improve the well-being of his family, friends, patients and constituents. The front page headline in the Tavistock Gazette after Bruce's passing read, “Dr. Halliday was an inspiration to all”.

Bruce served as chairman of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities and held many memberships on various committees and parliamentary organizations.

In 2004, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians. As well, he received an award from the Speaker of the House of Commons in recognition of parliamentary leadership on disability issues.

Dr. Bruce was the kind of man we all aspire to be. He was a loving, caring husband, father, grandfather and an inspiration to his whole family. Bruce was an extremely committed citizen to his community and his community activities. I and many others have lost a true and loyal friend. In addition, I have truly lost a mentor.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Elizabeth and her family.

François LangloisStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to mark a remarkable achievement by a citizen of LaSalle, the third Quebecker to reach the seven summits and one of the170 climbers who have scaled the highest peaks on the seven continents. François Langlois accomplished this feat in December when he reached the summit of the Vinson Massif in Antarctica.

In 10 years of adventures, this philanthropist and explorer has collected more than $4 million for sick children. Born prematurely with respiratory difficulties, he spent a month in an incubator fighting for his life. When starting out on his expedition to the top of Mount Everest, he promised to give back to children.

Mission accomplished for François Langlois who, during his expeditions, has always remembered the seriously ill children he has met on his hospital visits.

On behalf of my colleagues in the House, I wish to congratulate him for his grit and determination and thank him for his great generosity.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents were outraged by media reports that a Canadian immigration official wanted to let an illegal immigrant count his illegal work experience on his immigration application. Not surprisingly, some of those who profit off the immigration industry like the new interpretation of the rules. Immigration lawyer, Joel Sandaluk stated, “Immigration Canada should reward hard work”.

That is not the point. In Canada we welcome a quarter of a million legal immigrants every year. Canadians expect immigrants to come here the legal way, not pay immigration lawyers to help break our laws and then profit off of it.

That is why I was happy to see a few days later that our government's immigration minister had overruled this official and made clear that illegal immigrants are, ipso facto, criminally inadmissible to Canada.

My constituents support a welcoming policy toward legal immigration, just as they support the Government of Canada enforcing its laws and deporting those who work here illegally. The law is the law.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are well-known for using military personnel in their photo ops.

We found out over the Christmas holidays that the Supreme Court of Canada has now authorized the class action law suit of SISIP to proceed. Instead of having 6,500 disabled soldiers go to the courts to seek retribution for their benefits, why does the government not now sit down with the class action law suit and settle this once and for all?

We also found out that now the Conservatives, through the Treasury Board, want to charge military and CF personnel for parking on military bases. Imagine having to pay to go to work and park your car.

We also found out today that those next of kin who travelled to Afghanistan to the site of where their fallen soldiers may have come from may no longer benefit from military expenditures to cover the cost of their travel.

When will the government stop using the military for photo ops and really do something for the men and women of our military once and for all?

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economy is our government's top priority. Our economic action plan has produced concrete results, but we must now stay the course. We have listened to Canadian families, small business owners, workers and business people.

The Prime Minister and the Conservative members of Parliament have held over 150 economic consultations with Canadians. We continue to hear that Canadian families and businesses want our government to stay the course. They want us to create jobs, balance the budget and cut taxes.

Our government's tax reduction plan will protect and create jobs and will stabilize our economy. We will continue to oppose the opposition's plan to increase taxes, since this would stall the economic recovery, cause the loss of jobs and hurt families.

The opportunism exhibited by the coalition will cost us jobs and will jeopardize Canada's fragile economic recovery.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Collective of Solidarity with the Tunisian Struggle for Social Justice is holding a rally on Parliament Hill today to show its support for the people of Tunisia.

Tunisians are experiencing a surge of hope, having freed themselves from the heavy yoke that was weighing them down. The beginnings of real democracy are taking shape. The democratic world should pay close attention to the Tunisian experience, because its success could fuel the aspirations of other countries in the region.

The federal government's message must be clear: Canada will not harbour former dictators or their families. It must reach an extradition arrangement with Tunisia concerning Mr. Trabelsi, the brother-in-law of former president Ben Ali. Canada must also immediately freeze all of his assets and those of his family so they cannot be liquidated or transferred to tax havens. If any of those assets come from dirty money, they must be seized and returned to their rightful owners: the people of Tunisia.

Long live a democratic Tunisia!

TaxationStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, average Canadians cannot believe the Conservative government is handing out billions in tax breaks for wealthy corporations when we have a $56 billion deficit and have added over $100 billion to the country's debt.

These massive corporate tax cuts will not help the two million small business owners who have had their payroll taxes increased. Huge handouts to big corporations will not help average families to pay their mortgages or gas up their cars.

Canadians know big oil and big banks do not need billions in tax breaks. Too bad the Conservatives have not got the message.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Ajax—Pickering's recent tour of a correctional facility left him “unimpressed”. He said that he was unimpressed that the failed prison farm program, which lost millions of taxpayer dollars a year and had less than a 1% success rate, was replaced with more relevant and effective inmate programs. He was unimpressed that prisoners were not happy while serving their sentences and paying their debt to society. If anyone should be unimpressed, it is the Canadian taxpayers who work hard and play by the rules.

The Liberal public safety critic can continue to champion the rights of prisoners and high morale for inmates. On this side, our Conservative government will continue to work hard to get results for law-abiding Canadians and victims, like Bill C-23B that would prevent those who commit sexual crimes against children from ever receiving a pardon.

This is our pledge, even if being tough on crime does not impress the member for Ajax—Pickering.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for five years the government has done nothing about pensions and then it comes up with a private option that will weaken the Canada pension plan and simply boost profits for banks and insurance companies on top of the $6 billion tax break they have already been given.

When will the Prime Minister stop lining up behind banks and insurance companies and start lining up behind middle-class Canadian families who need security in retirement?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I note that the idea for a new registered pool pension plan was very well received by all of the provinces and would be a useful addition to Canada's retirement income system.

This is the government that has brought in income splitting for our pensioners, the tax free savings account, increases to the pension deduction to the age limit. In every case the Liberal Party voted against those things. When will it get on the side of Canadian pensioners?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, 75% of private sector employees do not have a pension plan. However, instead of strengthening the public pension plan, the Prime Minister is enriching banks and insurance companies with his private plan, in addition to the $6 billion in tax breaks he has given those very companies.

Why does this government line up behind banks and insurance companies and never behind ordinary middle class Canadian families?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this government has done more than any other government ever has for pensioners in this country. We brought in income splitting for our pensioners, the tax free savings account, increases to pension benefits and tax credits for seniors. In every case the Liberal Party voted against those benefits for our pensioners. It is time for the Liberal Party to support our seniors.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, talk to the income trust retirees about what the government did to them.

The issue here is the government should be strengthening the public provision, the Canada pension plan, instead of enriching banks and insurance companies.

The Prime Minister himself has a public pension. It is a good fat public pension. He stood up for that pension. When will he stand up for improved public pensions for average Canadians?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is precisely what this government has done, which is a very different record than on the other side, when the previous government put Canada into so much difficulty. What was it doing with services for ordinary people with health care, education, pensions? As the Liberal government was raising taxes on people, it was also scrapping those services. That is why we have to keep taxes low, keep core services funded in the country and ensure we keep this economy and job creation going.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, while American Senator Joe Lieberman is dragging our national reputation through the mud and slagging our border, the Prime Minister is negotiating a secret perimeter security deal with the United States. If the Prime Minister is negotiating this deal in secret, it is because he intends to sacrifice large portions of our sovereignty.

Why is the Prime Minister discussing perimeter security with the Americans and not with Canadians?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, our government always puts the interests of Canada first and foremost. The hon. member knows that more than $1.6 billion in trade crosses the border between our country and our nearest neighbour every day, creating job and economic opportunities.

We have been focused on means of keeping our shared border open to trade and investment and closed to security and terrorist threats.