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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Northern Economic DevelopmentStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the government once again about the high cost of living in Canada's north. Here is an example. Many Canadians are alarmed that they may have to pay $1 for each extra gigabyte of Internet. In the north, the average for each extra gig is $10, and they start counting at as little as two gigs.

In December the aboriginal affairs and northern development committee released its unanimous report on northern economic development. The report recommended:

That the Government of Canada, to facilitate the development of the northern economy by attracting and retaining more skilled workers, consider enhancing the Northern Residents Tax Deduction to more fully compensate for the costs of living faced by individuals in the North, and consider a policy that provides universality to the travel portion of the Northern Residents Tax Deduction.

The 2007 budget gave an insufficient modest increase. What northerners need this year is an increase in the range of 50%. The Minister of Finance should really look at this, because he is the one who could deliver on this for northerners.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call upon the opposition parties to support my private member's bill, Bill C-575, First Nations Financial Transparency Act.

The issue is simple and the bill is straightforward. Aboriginal Canadians deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials. Aboriginals across the country have sent me letters and emails and have phoned to express their support for this bill.

The Assembly of First Nations passed a non-binding resolution calling for greater transparency. Let us support aboriginal Canadians by giving them this tool to have the salaries and expenses of band chiefs and councils posted on INAC's website.

Now is not the time for partisan games. I call on all parliamentarians to show their support for aboriginals, for first nations, and all Canadian taxpayers by voting yes to the first nations financial transparency act.

Human RightsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last August I introduced the opposition leader and former deputy prime minister of Russia, Boris Nemtsov, at a symposium hosted by the Central and Eastern European Council at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre.

Nemtsov and over 100 democracy activists were arrested, some imprisoned, using Soviet-era laws for participating “in unsanctioned gatherings”. On New Year's Eve the campaign of intimidation was renewed when Nemtsov and 68 others were arrested after rallies calling for the democratization of Russia.

Last year Prime Minister Putin threatened the opposition and established a new tenet of Putinism stating: “...you will be beaten on your skull with a truncheon. And that's that”.

Russia's leading exiled broadcast journalist, Evgeny Kiselev, lamented to me that the west has traded the Russian democratic opposition for oil and gas. As Russia slips into autocracy, the Canadian government and foreign affairs minister remain silent.

Will Canada finally send a clear message to Russia that its continued membership in the G8 is dependent on its respect for democracy and human rights?

EgyptStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada urges the government of Egypt to continue the transition to democratic reform.

While the need for democratic reform is pressing, reform should not result in a vacuum that could lead to extremism, violence and intolerance toward religious minorities.

Our government responded rapidly and within 24 hours of recommending a voluntary evacuation, the first planeload of Canadians safely landed in Europe.

As of this morning, we have safely assisted the evacuation of nearly 500 Canadians and at this time we urge all Canadians to leave Egypt.

Royal Society of Canada ReportStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 5, 2001, the Royal Society of Canada released its report entitled, “Elements of Precaution: Recommendations for the Regulation of Food Biotechnology in Canada”. It has been said that:

This report, which made 58 recommendations, remains the most complete and scientifically rigorous synthesis of the subject of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In 2001, experts from the Royal Society were already talking about the lack of scientific data and basic transparency with respect to GMOs. In a context of uncertainty, they underscored the need to base decisions regarding GMOs on independent scientific studies from industry in order to determine what repercussions GMOs might have on the environment and on health.

Ten years later, both Liberal and Conservative governments have completely ignored these recommendations and not a single independent study has been conducted. Their complacency toward GMOs suggests that they prefer to bury their heads in the sand.

Child CareStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals made it clear once again that they do not trust Canadian parents to decide how to raise their own children. It is not surprising, though, considering the disparaging statements that Liberal members have made about parents in the past.

The Liberal member for St. Paul's has stated that parents who choose to stay home to raise their kids are not doing real work and need to get “a real job”.

The Liberal member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel reiterated the Liberal view that parents use their money for beer and popcorn instead of their kids when he stated, “They may have the money, but they use it for their own purposes...”.

Our Conservative government could not disagree more with the Liberals. We believe parents know best when it comes to raising their own children, and that is why we support choice in child care. On this side of the House, we believe that being a parent is the most important job there is.

Visitor VisasStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, we need to change the way in which visitor visas are being issued. Last month I visited the Philippines and India to express my feelings on the matter.

Whether it was the Canadian ambassador in the Philippines or the consul general in India, I made it very clear that families in Canada should have the right to have family members visit them here in Canada.

This can be done. It is only a question of developing the political will to do so. I know that the vast majority of Canadians would support visitor visas being issued in situations such as when a father in Canada passes away and his eldest son who lives in the Philippines wants to attend the funeral; or a couple's daughter is graduating from university but her grandparents in India are declined the opportunity to visit and be a part of the graduation; or when a bride would like her sister from the Philippines to be her bridesmaid at her wedding in Canada.

Families of good character should be able to visit if for no other reason than they are family. We must fix the current system.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority is the economy and, therefore, creating jobs for Canadians. The continued growth of employment in Canada once again shows that our economic action plan and tax reduction program are yielding positive results for Canadian families.

According to Statistics Canada data, Canada has created more than 460,000 jobs since July 2009, and the economy has grown for five consecutive quarters. Statistics Canada announced today that almost 70,000 net jobs were created in January. These are positive signs, but too many Canadians continue to look for employment and the global economic recovery remains fragile.

If we continue to move forward with our Prime Minister's tax relief plan to protect and create jobs, neither the leader of the Liberal Party nor his bill to raise taxes will be able to put the brakes on our recovery, kill jobs and set the families of Canadian workers back.

Robert MackenzieStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on January 17 the people of Hamilton lost a true champion of the working class. Bob Mackenzie was a respected lifelong labour activist, steel worker, New Democrat and Hamilton icon. As Ontario's first minister of labour, Bob was responsible for implementing an impressive legislative agenda, including improvements to pay equity, strengthening workers' compensation, protecting severance pay and bringing in anti-scab legislation.

Although a tireless and fearless politician, Bob will be remembered most for his humanity and his genuine desire to make the world a better place for everyone. He had a natural ability to connect with the people he represented and Hamilton east became more of a family than a riding. To me, Bob is also the gold standard of mentoring. In 1984, in my first public election, Bob took precious time away from his family cottage to canvass and teach this green 29-year-old, super long-shot candidate the ropes of electioneering.

On behalf of all hon. members, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Mackenzie family. Bob Mackenzie was a man who made a difference and he will be greatly missed.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, today Statistics Canada announced that Canada's economy created more than 70,000 net new jobs last month. Our government's main priority is the economy and helping create more jobs for Canadians. The creation of these jobs again shows that our economic action plan and our low tax agenda are getting positive results for Canadian families.

According to Statistics Canada estimates, Canada has now created over 460,000 jobs since July 2009, and more than a million jobs since 2006. These are positive signs, but too many Canadians are still looking for work and the global economic recovery remains fragile. We need to continue with our low tax plan to protect and create jobs, not the Liberal leader's high tax agenda that would stall our recovery, kill jobs and set back hard-working families.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was recently boasting about his government's accomplishments over the past five years. The real picture, however, is far less impressive, particularly concerning the status of women. Let me refresh everyone's memories.

Since 2005, the Conservatives have slashed Status of Women Canada's budget by 40%, thereby forcing the closure of 12 of its 14 offices. They abolished the court challenges program. They eliminated funding allocated for feminist research and women's rights organizations.

Conservative members have introduced bills attacking women's rights and the gains we have made. Consider for example Bill C-391 to abolish the long gun registry or Bill C-510 on abortion. Even more recently, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development suggested that women who have other people care for their children are inferior mothers.

This government has done nothing for women. If anything, it has compromised the gains women have made over the years. That is a more accurate portrait of the Conservatives.

Bernard Grandmaître AwardsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, many good memories were made last night at the Prix Bernard Grandmaître awards gala, held by ACFO Ottawa. This annual event recognizes francophones and francophiles who have distinguished themselves with their achievements, their dedication and their commitment in our community.

I want to pay tribute to Caroline Gélineault, who won the young person of the year award—what a bright future; Alex Cullen, who was named francophile of the year; and Émile Maheu, who won educator of the year—another bright future. My good friend Ronald Bisson was named citizen of the year. Those were the Laurier awards. Congratulations also to the organization of the year, Retraite en action. The Grandmaître award was presented to Jeannine Legault, an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer, who has been putting her heart and soul into the community for over six decades. She is very deserving of this honour.

Congratulations Jeannine and all of the finalists and Laurier award recipients. Congratulations also to the organizers of this wonderful evening. See you again next year.

Diamond JubileeStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sunday marks a historic moment in the life of our country. Having welcomed Her Majesty to my riding last summer, it is with great pride that I rise today to say that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will mark her 59th anniversary on the throne as the Queen of Canada. On Sunday, Her Majesty will enter her 60th year as our sovereign, only the second time in our history that our head of state will mark a diamond jubilee.

Yesterday, Governor General Johnston and the Prime Minister launched key elements of Canada's diamond jubilee plans, including a diamond jubilee medal bearing Her Majesty's image.

On the verge of Her Majesty's diamond jubilee as Queen of Canada, I invite all hon. members and indeed all Canadians to reflect on this incredible woman's unfaltering and unwavering dedication to service. May she continue to serve our country for many years to come, and may we all continue to demonstrate the loyalty and affection for her that she so richly deserves.

God save the Queen.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, today in Washington the Prime Minister is continuing a pattern of talking to American officials about a perimeter security deal he will not even admit exists. The deal will almost certainly cover security measures, trade, immigration, energy, fresh water and who knows what else.

Why will the Conservatives not tell us about this deal? Is it because every other time they have negotiated with the Americans on softwood lumber, on buy America, on $16 billion fighter jets, Canadians have got a bad deal?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member opposite that Canada will always put Canada's interests first, and our government feels very strongly about that. That means keeping our shared border open to trade, open to investment and closed to security and terrorist threats.

Some $1.6 billion worth of trade crosses our border each and every year. It is tremendously important for auto workers, for forestry workers and others right across the country, and we will continue to work to ensure that these jobs are protected and expanded.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

February 4th, 2011 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, every time this Prime Minister negotiates an agreement with the U.S. we end up losing.

Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in the forestry industry since his softwood lumber agreement. He is exporting our jobs to the United States and importing Republican values to Canada.

Megaprisons, the death penalty, no gun control—is the Prime Minister working for Canadians or for the Republicans?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this party and this government need to take no lessons from the Liberal Party when it comes to importing American values into Canada. Our party and government are always prepared to stand up and to do what is best for Canada and we will continue to do so.

We have $1.6 billion of trade each and every day. This is important for forestry workers, for auto workers and for others who depend on that trade. We are committed to working with the Obama administration to ensure that those Canadian jobs are protected. That is strong leadership.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, those answers are empty words. The Prime Minister's record on believing in Canada is not admirable. He said we were becoming a “second-tier socialist country” and that we would not even recognize Canada when he was done with it.

To realize this Republican dream, he is now doing his best to make it more to his liking, trying failed policies on trade, crime and the environment.

Why should we expect him to look out for the interests of Canadians, when he would rather follow the example of Sarah Palin and her Tea partiers?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I say to my friend from Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, I can stand in my place and say that the leader of my party has never called America his country.

This question is just a deliberate attempt to try to change the channel from the good news we heard this morning that some 69,000 net new jobs have been created in Canada. The Minister of Finance presented a plan, Canada's economic action plan, to create jobs, to create hope and to create opportunity. The plan is working. Let us not change course.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, anywhere they have been tried, mega prisons have been a disaster. They have left states like California nearly bankrupt, with soaring crime rates and no way back. While the rest of the world recoils from the mistake, the Prime Minister is bent on repeating it.

Before we can turn back, while the Prime Minister is in the United States, will he tour the mega prisons he is trying to import? Will he sit down with Republican lawmakers who founded these ideas and listen to what a complete, total and utter failure they have been? Will Conservatives at least look at the example they are trying to emulate?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we do know that there is a cost to protecting Canadians and we do know there is an interest in victims who have criminal acts perpetrated against them. We also know that my hon. friend opposite is more concerned about the morale of the prisoners in the prison system than he is about the people who work there. That cost, we know, is borne by Canadians and we know that they are willing to pay it.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

What a shock, Mr. Speaker. The Conservatives are attacking me personally and it is because they are losing the argument. They do not have the facts.

The reality is that after looking to the founders of the super prison system, somebody like Newt Gingrich, who now says this idea is too extreme and too right wing, who exactly are they listening to?

Anywhere this has been tried, it has been a complete and total failure. Let us try a simple question and see if the member can answer it. Name one jurisdiction, any one, anywhere in the world, where this stuff has been tried and worked? I can say that anywhere I have looked, it has been a complete disaster.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I do not think I would insult any of our neighbours or allies around the world.

We have been to other countries, and the member opposite was part of the committee that went to Norway. We heard about recidivism. We heard about people going back to prison up to 30 times. I do not think the member's approach would work.

At the same time, we have a made in Canada approach that will work, that Canadians understand, and one that Canadians are asking us for and supporting.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is meeting today with President Obama to negotiate a common security perimeter and establish a working group to prepare a joint plan of action within 120 days.

How can the Conservative government explain that, with such a short deadline, neither Canadians nor parliamentarians have had any information and there has been no debate in this House about this very important matter?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, It is very important for us to have good relations with our neighbouring countries. We also know that a great deal of goods are moved from one country to the other across our respective borders. Daily trade between our two countries is in the order of $1.6 billion.

In this context, the issue of the security of our respective borders is also important, and we will continue to work with the U.S. government on this matter.