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House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

The InternetStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Madam Speaker, happy New Year of the Rabbit. I wish everyone good health and prosperity.

[Member spoke in Chinese]

[English]

During special occasions, family members who cannot be with each other rely on the Internet to connect, to be united. Whether it is through conversations on iChat or Skype, emailing pictures or messages and greetings, having Internet access helps keep families together.

Canadians want an Internet service that is fast and affordable. Instead of standing on the side of the major telecom companies that do nothing while Internet users get gouged everywhere they turn, we need a government to be on our side, a government that will say no to the cap imposed by the telecom giants on Internet services.

Canadians want choice, low prices and fair competition. I ask people to join our fight at OpenMedia.ca. Let us end all usage-based billing. Let us have an Internet service that puts consumers first.

The BudgetStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Madam Speaker, I sincerely want to thank constituents who attended my prebudget town hall meetings in January, including several mayors, reeves and municipal councillors. Their input into the budget process is both helpful and important.

Generally they were happy with the way the Prime Minister and our government have managed the economy. Most agree that our five-year deficit elimination plan is appropriate. They strongly support our justice agenda and are angry with the opposition parties for slowing progress in this regard. The overall message was clear: carry on as planned.

I sincerely want to thank all who attended. I want to let them know that I heard their message and that their message and the information they gave to me will in fact get to the finance minister to be considered in the prebudget process.

TaxationStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, the irresponsible Conservative corporate tax cuts are compromising our country's ability to respond to the needs of families, seniors, Canadians living in poverty and post-secondary students, among others. These tax cuts are being financed with borrowed money and, as a result, will have to be paid for by our children.

We have seen the government develop a society where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. This erodes our nation's fabric and, as a result, threatens the very principles for which Canada stands.

Over the years, successive Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments have developed and enhanced medicare, the Canada pension plan, employment insurance, the child tax credit and many other programs, which are as much a part of Canada as the maple leaf. With these corporate tax cuts, these programs are under attack.

I call upon the government to stop the corporate tax cuts, stop the insanity, stop favouring the rich and to start showing some concern and some compassion for ordinary Canadians.

World Cancer DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is World Cancer Day.

Last year over 170,000 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer. Last year I tabled a private member's bill to combat one of the most common types of cancer, and that is skin cancer. My bill calls for stronger labelling of tanning beds, drawing a link between tanning and skin cancer and warning our youth to avoid tanning machines.

The World Health Organization says that regular tanning results in a 75% increased risk of skin cancer if tanning begins before the age of 30.

My bill has received support from the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Dermatology Association and the Canadian Cancer Society, among others.

I applaud Canadian jurisdictions like New Brunswick and Victoria, B.C., for taking strong action to ban youth under 18 from using tanning beds.

As we recognize World Cancer Day tomorrow, we need to remember our friends and family who have battled against all forms of cancer.

I encourage all members to support my bill and to continue to advocate for cancer awareness and education to achieve a healthier future for all Canadians.

Patro Laval and Centre DurocherStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise here today to commend the excellent work of two organizations in my riding. In 2010, they both celebrated important anniversaries.

Patro Laval celebrated 100 years of community involvement. Unconditional acceptance, mutual assistance and a sense of family are just some of the values one can expect from this Quebec City organization, where recreational activities are the focus.

Also, Centre Durocher celebrated its 60th anniversary and can be proud of having had such deeps roots in the community for so many years. Through recreational activities, community action and public education, the centre allows residents of Quebec City's lower town to improve their living conditions.

Patro Laval and Centre Durocher are both active community centres where authenticity and openness to youth and family prevail. I would like to congratulate them on their longevity and thank their staff and volunteers for serving the people of Quebec City with such dedication and passion.

Super BowlStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge a young man from Lambton—Kent—Middlesex who will be playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday. In fact, he is the only Canadian in the Super Bowl.

Shaun Suisham from Wallaceburg is the kicker for the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Shaun attended Wallaceburg District Secondary School where he starred as a member of the Wallaceburg Tartans. He went on to Bowling Green University from where he launched his NFL career.

Shaun is a fine young man who gives his time and resources back to his community, returning to Wallaceburg each year to conduct football clinics for young people in the community.

Please join me in wishing Shaun every success this Super Bowl Sunday.

National Suicide Prevention WeekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to talk about National Suicide Prevention Week. Of the 4,000 suicides committed in Canada each year, 90% involve a person with mental illness. Quebec has the highest suicide rate in the country.

Suicides can affect all generations, but our most vulnerable are our youth. We need to remember that mental health problems usually associated with adults, such as depression, also affect young people.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, after car accidents. We are still far too reluctant to talk about it, partly because of the sense of guilt and shame that is too often associated with suicide.

We need to break our silence about suicide, but we need to do a whole lot more.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association is calling on the federal government to implement a comprehensive national mental health strategy that will ensure Canadians of all ages are supported in their journey towards recovery and well-being.

Let us work together on a mental health strategy and put an end to suicide.

Wiarton Willy FestivalStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, grab your swimsuit, grab your suntan lotion and get ready to go to the beach. Spring is coming early.

Yesterday I joined hundreds of people in the town of Wiarton, gathering around to see if Wiarton Willy would see his shadow. On Groundhog Day, the crowd waited with bated breath as Wiarton Willy, braving a fierce winter storm, came out of his den. Ultimately, he did not see his shadow, meaning spring is just around the corner.

Even Wiarton Willy's wannabe come lately cousins, Shubenacadie Sam and Punxsutawney Phil, waited for Willy's prediction before copycatting with their own predictions.

Now in its 55th year, the Wiarton Willy Festival attracts visitors from every corner of the globe, making it Bruce county's largest winter festival.

This tells us only one thing. Wiarton Willy, the only albino weather predictor in the world, is clearly the undisputed champion of weather forecasting. Not only is he Canada's most famous groundhog, but the most famous in the world.

Long hail Wiarton Willy. Spring is on its way.

Health CareStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's universal public health care system is lauded worldwide. Sadly, universality of care is increasingly at risk, in part due to rising costs, including prescription drugs.

Worst affected are Canadians who are reliant on costly medicines, but can least afford them, seniors and others with low or fixed incomes. In Edmonton, almost 60% of those with low incomes are struggling to pay for necessary medicines.

Universal pharmacare would ensure more equitable access by all Canadians to affordable medicines and quality of life. The federal negotiating position for the next Canada health transfer agreement must include universal pharmacare.

Tommy Douglas, the father of medicare, did not intend to limit it to hospitals and doctors. Coverage of drugs and other services was to follow. Despite repeated proposals and pledges, Canada remains one of the few industrialized countries without a national drug plan.

I challenge every MP to stand with me and the friends of medicare and demand universal coverage for their constituents.

Lunar New YearStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Conservative Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure and honour to celebrate the Lunar New Year with my fellow parliamentarians and Canadians of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese descent.

It is also my honour, on behalf of the Government of Canada, to extend my best wishes as we celebrate the new year. The Year of the Rabbit is said to be a time of tranquility. I hope this is the case for all Canadians.

Over the last year, the relationship between Canada, Korea and Vietnam has grown stronger. For example, Canada's pavilion at the Shanghai Expo was an unqualified success. The approved destination status agreement has made it easier for Chinese nationals to visit Canada.

Of course, strong ties are a natural result of our great country having more than one million Canadians of Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean descent, making an important contribution to our national life all year long.

I wish all Canadians, particularly those celebrating the new year today, luck, happiness, health and good fortune in the Year of the Rabbit and beyond.

Gung Hay Fat Choy.

National Suicide Prevention WeekStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, during Quebec's 21st suicide prevention week, we must remember that most suicides can be prevented, and that one of the most effective tools in the fight against this scourge is to pay attention to any signs of psychological distress shown by our loved ones.

In 2009, 1,069 people committed suicide in Quebec, which is a 3% decrease compared to 2008. The rate has been dropping steadily over the past 10 years, especially among young people, which shows the effectiveness of prevention efforts.

However, it is unacceptable that there are still too many seniors who see suicide as the solution to their suffering: 41% of those who took their own lives in 2009 were aged 50 and over.

To prevent such tragedies, we must always be attentive to our senior citizens, especially when there is a major upheaval in their private lives or social networks. We must always remember that “suicide is not an option”, as the 2011 campaign slogan so aptly states.

DubaiStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are facing problems with travel and work in the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, due to the incompetence of the government.

Dubai is the economic hub of the Middle East and a gateway to Africa and Asia. It was, until recently, a strategic ally. Canada needs to get this relationship back on track.

Instead of diplomacy, the Prime Minister escalated a dispute, which has impacted Canada's economic and security interests.

In 2009 Canadian companies exported $1.3 billion in goods to the Emirates, giving Canada a $1.1 billion trade surplus. Over 200 Canadian companies operate in Dubai. Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario have all led trade missions to Dubai. Direct foreign investment by the Emirates in Canada amounted to $4.4 billion, making it the 12th largest investor.

Canada is losing opportunities for a positive, constructive relationship and it is high time the Prime Minister looked after the interest of all Canadians.

The EconomyStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government's focus on jobs and the economy is producing results for Canadians.

Last summer the Prime Minister announced the creation of a federal pay centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick. Today I am happy to report that hiring is under way for the first 146 of the 550 jobs created for this initiative. Constituents are extremely happy with this good news.

With these new jobs, the pay centre is turning a tide in our community. It is no wonder that even the Liberal leaders calls this pay centre a fantastic idea. Miramichi mayor, Gerry Cormier, got it right when he said, “I truly believe the next few years are going to be good years in the city of Miramichi”.

Ours is a party getting things done for Miramichi and all Canadians.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for months the government has been negotiating a secret perimeter security deal with the Americans. For weeks we have been trying to figure out, asking it over and over again, what this means for Canadian sovereignty and our rights as citizens.

Why the secrecy? Why is it that the government is talking about fundamental issues of Canadian sovereignty and Canadian freedoms with the Americans without talking to Canadians first?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as members are aware, our government always puts Canada's interests first. Since we took office we have been focused on creating jobs and economic growth through free, open and secure borders. That means keeping our shared borders open to trade investment but closed to security and terrorist threats. More than $1.6 billion crosses the border every day, creating jobs and opportunities for Canada and Canadians all across the country.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government and the minister are dancing around the issue once more. They refuse to even say the words “perimeter security” and yet they are holding secret negotiations with the Americans on this very issue, which poses a serious threat to our country's sovereignty and the rights of its citizens.

Why are these negotiations secret? Why do they refuse to clearly state what they are discussing with the Americans in Washington?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as you are well aware, our government has always put the interests of Canadians and Canada first. Our government defends these interests. Since we came into office, this has been one of our main objectives, whether it involved resolving the softwood lumber dispute or resolving issues passed on by the previous government. We have been doing everything we can to develop Canada's economy and we continue to do so.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, first we have the Minister of Public Safety telling us that he does not know anything about the security side, then we have the trade minister saying that he does not know anything about the trade side and now we have the Minister of Foreign Affairs saying that he knows nothing about anything.

This is becoming a stealth deal and a bad stealth deal at that. Bad stealth deals are bad for Canadian democracy.

Why is the Prime Minister and the government refusing to tell Canadians what they are negotiating behind our backs?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will once again reassure my hon. colleague with a quote:

Yes, the usual critics will bellyache. But let’s remember that they complained when the historic free-trade agreement was being negotiated between [Canada and the United States] in the 1980s.

Do members know who said that? That was from an op-ed written by five previous Canadian ambassadors to the U.S,. including Raymond Chrétien, Michael Kergin and Frank McKenna, all of them Liberal political appointees.

National DefenceOral Questions

February 3rd, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence is quick to question my patriotism. I will go up against him any day on patriotism. I do not just dress up like a soldier. I actually serve my country.

The minister also likes his little Star Trek analogies, so I will take him where no Conservative has gone before, to fiscal competence and balanced budgets.

Why will he not hold an open competition, get the best aircraft for our needs, guarantee industrial benefits and save Canadians billions of dollars?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we will do. In fact, I regret not having had the opportunity to serve my country in uniform. I serve my country in a different way.

Canadians can always count on this government to do the right thing when it comes to giving the best equipment to the best citizens, the members of the Canadian Forces. They can always count on this government as well to look out for the interests of taxpayers and our aerospace industry.

Why is it that the member from a region of Montreal is demonstrating contempt for the aerospace industry in his own region? He should explain that to his constituents.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Spoken like a space cadet in training, Mr. Speaker.

We have learned that the fighter jets will be part of the secret agreement signed by the Prime Minister and the American government.

Is it surprising that Robert Gates came here last week to say that we have to purchase the F-35? Can we not choose our own military equipment? Why is the Prime Minister letting Washington make our decisions for us?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we need to separate fact from fiction and maybe elevate the debate a bit.

This is a $9 billion project. We are committed to giving the Canadian Forces the best aircraft available to ensure mission success and to protect them. Let us look at what this aircraft will do. In addition to the $9 billion for the aircraft, it comes with supporting infrastructure, initial spares, training simulators, contingency funds and weapon systems, all at projected operating costs.

This is the best deal for the air force, for the aerospace industry and for Canadian taxpayers.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Obama administration and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, were very clear: a transition of power in Egypt is necessary and must take place immediately. The violence of recent days shows the extent to which the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak is hindering all democratic efforts and, consequently, is detrimental to peace.

What is the government waiting for before it toughens its stance, like the U.S., and formally demands that President Mubarak step down as a condition for restoring peace in Egypt?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear since this conflict and the widespread protests began. It is extremely important to be able to proceed with an orderly transition that will result in democratic institutional reforms as well as free elections under the supervision of international observers.