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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was americans.

Topics

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was interested in the position taken by the member from Mississauga that we should not worry about this, we had not negotiated that part of it and that we should pass the legislation anyway.

We have seen the abuse by the Americans of their no-fly list and the number of errors, and this came out at committee. Their no-fly list is still permeated with errors that oftentimes have very negative consequences for the people who are the subject of those errors.

Could the member, who has been here for awhile, talk about the attitude of going ahead, doing this and then waiting to see what the outcome is going to be, as opposed to setting in place what the regulations should be, what the guidelines would be and what the absolute protection would be, in writing, in legislation, on both sides of the border?

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, as a lawyer, the member for Windsor—Tecumseh asks a very relevant question.

We have been asked to buy a pig in a poke. We have been asked to put in place the underlying principles and the framework of an agreement, the details of which we do not know. We would not buy a house without reading the fine print, but we have been asked to buy a pig in a poke and to trust the government that it would never enter into an arrangement that would be detrimental to the best interests of Canadians.

We have recent evidence, experience and empirical evidence from which to draw. There is the absurd situation of a do not fly list where a freely elected Canadian member of Parliament cannot get on an airplane in his own country because of a list being kept in Washington, DC. We have recent examples, like the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen subject to the overzealous trading of information between countries, which caused an atrocity in that regard.

We do not know the details of the agreements being entered into with other countries. We do know the details of the one agreement that has been released, and that is between the United States and the European Union. In that case, every time people travel, the right to information they will have is their credit card information, who they are travelling with, what hotel they are staying at, other booking information such as tours or rental cars and any medical condition they may have.

Personal credit card information and personal health records will now be in the hands of another nation. Canadians' sovereign right to privacy is being compromised and undermined by this legislation. It should be condemned. We should be unanimous in our condemnation of a foreign nation intruding in our Canadian national sovereignty and the absolute obligations of the government to protect the sovereign and fundamental freedoms of privacy.

We have a right to know what the government is doing. It does not have an absolute right to know what we are doing.

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-42 today. I am the tourism critic for the NDP. More important, I am a Canadian citizen who is concerned about this tremendous erosion of Canadian privacy and sovereignty. The bill has serious implications on Canadian travellers taking international flights over but not into the United States.

The bill should be defeated. It is quite clearly nothing but data mining by the United States. I can understand why it would ask. I cannot understand why we would say yes, especially when it is not reciprocal. It is an unwarranted invasion of Canadians' privacy in many ways.

It is disturbing, but unfortunately not surprising, that the Conservative government would introduce such a bill. It might be reasonable to assume that foreign governments would want carriers to provide names and personal details for flights that would be landing on their soil. Unfortunately, Bill C-42 goes a ridiculous amount further. It would have airlines provide personal information. We heard the member from Winnipeg list many of the kinds of personal information that would be given to a country that travellers were just flying over.

Let us explore some of the implications of the bill. Apparently, a passenger leaving Canada on a vacation to Cuba, which many Canadians do although the Americans do not like it because they do not like Cuba and do not like us going to Cuba, could have their name, birthdate and over 30 other pieces of personal information subject to screening by the Department of U.S. Homeland Security. It would also be checking that information against various databases, including the infamous U.S. no-fly list. If people's names are on the American no-fly list, they will not get on that flight nor will they know the reason why. As well, it may not be just a one-time occurrence. Effectively, they may never be able to get off that U.S. no-fly list and may be banned from all flights leaving from Canada but flying over U.S. airspace for a very long time.

There are already examples of misuse. For example, there is the story of Hernando Ospina. He is a journalist for Le Monde diplomatique, whose Air France flight from Paris to Mexico was diverted to Martinique just because he wrote an article that was critical of U.S. foreign policy.

Another example is Paul-Émile Dupret. He is a Belgian researcher with the European Parliament. His flight from Europe to the World Social Forum in Brazil was diverted, not because he was a security threat but because he campaigned against the transfer of European travellers' information to U.S. authorities.

Who will be on the no-fly list after our speeches here today? Will members of the House of Commons end up on the U.S. no-fly list?

How can the government assure Canadians that this type of political misuse will not occur if Bill C-42 is passed? Apparently, the U.S. has told our government that it needs everyone's personal information so it can check it with its various lists of people who it does not want flying so there are less false matches and less problems. It is saying, “Let us clear your passengers for you.” Our government is going along with this. Is this laziness? Are we really that desirous of letting someone else take over the security checks of our citizens flying to a third country via U.S. airspace? We will simply have to accept that they do not get to fly internationally anymore because we have given a foreign government a veto over Canadians travelling abroad.

I hope all the members of all the parties in the House come to their senses, vote against Bill C-42 and preserve Canadian rights and Canadian sovereignty.

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Order, please. The hon. member for Thunder Bay—Superior North will have 15 minutes remaining when the House returns to this matter.

Conestoga CollegeStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, from investing in knowledge infrastructure to credits for tools for tradespeople, we are helping Canadians achieve their potential.

I often praise the University of Waterloo, and why not? UW hosts Canada's pre-eminent school of engineering and is the MIT of the north.

However, in the senior design competition at the 2011 Ontario engineering competition, it was not UW that took home top honours. It was Conestoga College. That is right. My constituent Ian Hillier of Petersburg, with Jamie Hobson, David Timmerman and Brian Montgomery-Wilson, won out over teams from universities and colleges across Ontario, including the University of Waterloo.

Our government invested to expand and improve Conestoga's engineering facilities. How long then will it be until UW stops calling itself the “MIT of the North” and instead uses the more prestigious phrase, “Conestoga College of Universities”?

I ask members of the House, especially the member for Kitchener—Waterloo, to join me in congratulating Conestoga College and its students for this honour.

Roy F. DickiesonStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour Roy F. Dickieson who passed away on February 17 at 91.

Roy was predeceased by his lifelong sweetheart Esther, after nearly 65 years of marriage. They had a family of six and, wow, 18 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Living his lifetime in New Glasgow, P.E.I., Roy was a dedicated church and community member who truly loved and respected his fellow man. He was a founder of many organizations: New Glasgow 4-H, Central Queen Funeral Co-op and Farmers Helping Farmers, to name a few. His passion was dairy cattle, especially Holsteins. While building a productive herd, he was an avid spectator, participant and judge at cattle shows as far away as England. Roy offered his time and expertise, from coaching hockey and being local school trustee to various directorships. He touched many lives.

Canada has lost a true role model. May we in the House extend our sympathies.

Claudette PoirierStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to publicly congratulate a painter from my riding, Claudette Poirier, who is the president of an organization called Arts visuels Roussillon.

She is a busy artist. Countless exhibitions have showcased her works, which are known for their softness and use of light. And this tireless, caring woman has undertaken or supported countless projects as well.

Ms. Poirier, who retired from the École Polytechnique, painted an incredible mural in 1999 that serves as a stirring tribute to the 13 victims of the unforgettable tragedy that took place there on December 6, 1989.

In December 2010, Ms. Poirier was chosen to be part of Canada's 12-member delegation at the annual exhibition organized by the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. This event, which is held at the Louvre, is one of the most prestigious international exhibitions of contemporary art. Ms. Poirier was able to exhibit her work and thus increase her visibility on the international stage.

I wish to thank and congratulate Claudette Poirier, a wonderful artist from Saint-Constant, who will now be known beyond our borders, where she will promote yet another marvellous aspect of Quebec culture.

Energy PricesStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, gas prices hit $1.30 this weekend in northern Ontario, based on speculation that unrest in Libya would disrupt oil supplies. Despite the fact that Libya produces less than 4% of the world's oil, prices have jumped more than 10% at the pumps.

For consumers, it is a one-way street with a hill that keeps getting steeper, especially in northern Ontario. The problem for consumers will not be limited to the price at the pumps. When energy prices go up, everything else follows. Food, travel and transportation will cost more and the cost of heating homes will go up, again.

For many of us who are reeling from the shock of just how much the HST is cutting into the bottom line, this is only salt in the wound. Every week I hear from more people who are stretched to the limit and, still, the government refuses to act on solid New Democrat proposals that would help consumers deal with the high cost of energy. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to reduce the tax on home heating. It is also time to implement a nationwide regulatory agency to monitor the price of oil and gas and to have an ombudsman to protect consumers.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, finding a family doctor continues to be a concern in my riding. I was therefore very pleased last week when the hon. Minister of Health announced federal funding to support the placement of more than 100 family medical residents in rural Canada.

Yet who was the first to complain of this much-needed investment? The members guessed it: the leader of the federal NDP.

Why was I not surprised when I heard of this criticism? This is the same NDP leader who voted against Canada's economic action plan. This is the same NDP leader who opposes our government's opening of agricultural markets through negotiated free trade deals. This is the same NDP leader who ordered his rural MPs to follow his lead and defeat a private member's bill to repeal the long gun registry.

It is obvious the leader of the NDP does not care about rural Saskatchewan. His criticism of rural Canada's need for doctors further proves that his party is out of touch. The NDP party can no longer claim to be the party of health care in Canada, but has become a party of extreme, out of touch special interest groups.

International Rare Disease DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, some 2.7 million Canadians are affected by 1 in 6,000 rare disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and thalassemia. Most rare disorders are difficult to diagnose and are chronic, degenerative, progressive and life-threatening.

Families who face rare disorders lack access to scientific knowledge of their disease and quality health care. They face difficulties and inequities in accessing treatment and care.

Sadly, Canada is one of the only developed countries without a policy for rare disorders. As a result, Canadian patients are frequently excluded from many clinical trials and often have delayed access to treatment. Moreover, Canadian patients cannot always access drugs available to patients elsewhere. Only a fraction of the drugs approved in Europe and the U.S. are brought to Canada.

On International Rare Disease Day, let us all commit to working together to develop a national policy for rare disorders.

CurlingStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, in my province of Saskatchewan, curling is much more than a sport and curling rinks much more than ice surfaces. Curling brings everyone of every age and every occupation together in the spirit of friendly competition. Simply put, curling is part of the fabric of Saskatchewan. That is why I am extremely proud to stand in the House today to congratulate a national champion from my great province.

Yesterday, in dramatic fashion, the pride of Kronau, skip Amber Holland; third Kim Schneider; second Tammy Schneider; lead Heather Kalenchuck; fifth Jolene Campbell; and coach Merv Fonger won Saskatchewan's first Scotties Tournament of Hearts since the legendary Sandra Schmirler won it all back in 1997.

After being down early, Holland's rink scored three in the sixth end to tie it up, and then, with all of Saskatchewan watching in anticipation, stole one in the tenth end to defeat the defending four-time champion, Team Canada and skip Jennifer Jones.

On behalf of everyone in the House, I offer my sincere congratulations to all of the teams who participated and to the new national champion, Team Saskatchewan.

Denis VilleneuveStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, the best foreign language Oscar eluded Denis Villeneuve and his film Incendies.

Nevertheless, simply being part of this select group of Oscar nominees is a testament to the quality of Mr. Villeneuve's film. The nomination definitely serves as an outstanding showcase and an opportunity to raise the international profile of the film itself, Denis Villeneuve and the entire Quebec film industry.

Indeed, not only did this nomination draw attention to our film industry, but it also establishes Mr. Villeneuve's reputation as a gifted, compassionate and sensitive director whose success lies in his attention to detail and his ability to bring complex, touching tragedies to the big screen.

We could not be more proud of Denis Villeneuve and Incendies. On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to wish him the best of luck for the rest of the awards season.

Private Thomas LawlessStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday in Edmonton I had the honour of announcing the identity of a Canadian soldier whose remains had been discovered in France in 2003.

Through the combined magic of art and science, it was finally determined that the soldier was Private Thomas Lawless, who had made the ultimate sacrifice on the night of June 8, 1917, near Vimy Ridge.

Amazingly, the final clue was the oxygen molecules in his teeth which, through the use of stable isotopes, pinpointed his residential history to three locations in Ireland and Calgary.

Descendants of Private Lawless were at the announcement and the family was excited and grateful for this closure nearly a century after the fact.

Private Lawless is one of 28,000 Canadian soldiers lost without a trace in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, and his identification brings them all just a bit closer to us. They may be gone, but they are never forgotten.

Private Lawless will be buried with full military honours at La Chaudiere Military Cemetery near Vimy Ridge on March 15, alongside his fallen comrades from the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.

May he finally rest in peace.

CurlingStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this past week, the roaring game of curling invaded Prince Edward Island at the Scotties Canadian Women's National Championships.

The field was extraordinary, featuring former Canadian and world champions, Olympic contenders and junior champions from across the country, ranging from the young but impressive Rachel Homan of Ontario to the stalwart and experienced Cathy Overton-Clapham of Manitoba.

In the end, though, it was Amber Holland from Kronau, Saskatchewan, in the heart of the Wascana constituency, who claimed the national title in a tight final game last night against four-time champion Jennifer Jones.

Amber is the first Saskatchewan woman to take this crown since 1997, when it was won by the late legendary Sandra Schmirler, who I am also proud to say is one of my constituents.

We congratulate Amber, Kim and Tammy Schneider, Heather Kalenchuk and coach Merv Fonger for a great victory. All of Canada wishes them every success at the world championships next month in Denmark.

2010 Winter OlympicsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the finale of the Vancouver 2010 winter Olympics and the benefits arising from those games, including the bringing to our shores of business, investment, tourism and overseas students.

Who will forget the men's gold medal hockey game, as Sidney Crosby took that memorable pass from Jarome Iginla to score in overtime? Who will forget the collaboration of our partners in hosting the most successful winter Olympics in history: VANOC; the Province of B.C.; and the municipalities of Vancouver and Richmond and, in my own riding, West Vancouver and Whistler?

Who will forget the army of blue jacketed volunteers, including my wife Donna, who welcomed the world? Who will forget the police officers and bus drivers who came from across Canada to make the games such a heartwarming success? Who will ever forget our athletes who delivered the performances that made us all so proud?

A year later, with our government's continuing support, our athletes excel on the world stage and we Canadians are behind them all the way.

AsbestosStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and pay tribute to Canadian filmmaker Kathleen Mullen for the Toronto premiere of her film Breathtaking, dedicated to her late father Richard Mullen, who died of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos.

She points out that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known and that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial causes combined. Yet the film points out that Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world. Without question, we are exporting human misery on a monumental scale. Canada spends millions of dollar subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use. I call it “corporate welfare for corporate serial killers”.

Using the power of documentary filmmaking, Kathleen Mullen calls upon the Government of Canada to ban asbestos in all of its forms and to institute a just transition program for all asbestos workers and the communities they live in. She calls upon the government to end all subsidies of asbestos, both at home and abroad, and to stop blocking international conventions—

AsbestosStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the ideological Bloc has made itself clear. If the government does not impose new taxes on Quebeckers and does not engage in costly spending, then the Bloc will try to trigger an unnecessary election. They are not acting in the interests of Quebeckers in the regions. They are only thinking of themselves and their friends among the urban elite.

The Conservative government has put the regional economy back on track and is staying the course.

While the Bloc was voting against infrastructure projects for Quebec and against minimum sentences for people who sell drugs near our schools, the Conservative government was taking action for all the regions in Quebec. We have supported the forestry sector, we are helping farmers, but above all, we have created economic opportunities for Quebeckers in their regions, with no support from the Bloc.

The choice is clear: Quebeckers in the regions have a choice between the Bloc, which wants to increase taxes and kill jobs, and a Conservative government whose priority is the economy and jobs for Quebeckers in every region.

Drummondville Customs OfficeStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the unwarranted decision by the Minister of Public Safety to close the Drummondville customs office is being denounced by everyone: the elected officials of Drummondville, the Conférence régionale des élus, and the Drummondville economic development agency, which represents more than 700 public bodies and businesses.

Neither the minister nor representatives of the Canada Border Services Agency have yet been able to provide a credible argument to support this inexplicable decision. The minister did not even deign to answer the request for a meeting we made in January.

The Drummondville customs office is an employer that generates between $500,000 and $700,000 per month, in premises already leased by Service Canada.

Although the minister may refuse to speak to us, his parliamentary colleagues, it is his duty and responsibility to answer to the people of Drummond, who are telling him unequivocally that he has made a bad decision.

Canada at the OscarsStatements by Members

February 28th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, many of our artists graced Hollywood's red carpet at the Oscars.

Although Denis Villeneuve's Incendies unfortunately did not win the Oscar for best foreign-language film, the fact remains that it is an absolutely extraordinary movie.

I also know that my colleague from Hull—Aylmer was very proud to see Dean DeBlois, who is originally from his riding, nominated for best animated feature film.

We also want to congratulate Craig Berkey, who was nominated twice for sound editing and mixing for True Grit.

Finally, Adrien Morot was nominated for best makeup for his work on Barney's Version. Clearly, we cannot win them all, but the presence of so many Canadians among the film industry's elite confirms the absolutely outstanding talent we have here in Canada, talent that promotes our culture throughout the world. Three cheers for our creators, our artists and Canadian talent and cinema!

Gulf War AnniversaryStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we mark the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire in the Persian Gulf war. Over 4,000 Canadian Forces personnel served as part of the international contingent that forced Iraq out of Kuwait.

After the war ended, our troops remained as part of the UN peacekeeping mission along the border, monitoring the demilitarized zones between the countries and investigating ceasefire violations and clearing land mines. Canadian warships participated in the operations of the multinational interception force and helped to enforce economic sanctions on Iraq after the Gulf war. CF-18 squadrons performed combat air patrol missions.

Although no Canadian Forces member died in the course of the Gulf war, serving in such dangerous places can have profound and lifelong effects.

These Canadians take their honoured places with their fellow service members from other conflicts, including today in Afghanistan, as people who proudly serve their country.

We must never forget their bravery and sacrifices.

Canada remembers.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week four members of the Prime Minister's inner circle were accused of serious allegations in relation to Canada's election law. These are serious criminal charges and they carry with them jail time. At the same time, this is the result of years of investigation by Elections Canada and the public prosecutor.

The question for the Prime Minister and the government is, do they not understand that playing fast and loose with Canada's election law undermines Canadian democracy?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is a five-year-old accounting dispute. Fortunately, the Federal Court has ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not about accounting. Four of the Prime Minister's closest associates are accused of election fraud. It is linked directly to the Prime Minister's Office. This Prime Minister shut down parliament twice and is keeping a minister who mislead the House in his cabinet.

Are the Prime Minister and his government aware that they are undermining Canadian democracy?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Leader of the Opposition for his question. This is a five year old dispute between us and Elections Canada. Fortunately, the Federal Court has already ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada in this matter.