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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was funding.

Topics

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thought I had heard it all from the Conservative Party of Canada when last November 11, the party's fundraising arm called veterans in this country to ask for money.

I thought that was the lowest of the low until just recently, when a constituent of mine called me and said that a member of the Conservative Party had called him looking for money, because “We are the only party that stands up for the Jewish people of Canada and Israel”. I thought I had heard it all from a political party that uses religion and wedge politics, but this is the lowest of the low.

It is bad enough to call veterans on Remembrance Day looking for money for a political party, but using wedge religious politics, in this case with the Jewish people of Canada, to raise funds for a party is despicable and low.

The Conservative Party of Canada and the Prime Minister of Canada should apologize to all people in Canada--

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Delta--Richmond East.

Earthquake PreparednessStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to extend the sympathies of my constituents to the people of Christchurch.

The destruction in New Zealand is a reminder of the tragic loss of life that can result from earthquakes.

On February 15, an earthquake shook Richmond and Delta. It was very mild compared with the one that hit Christchurch, but it is a reminder that we must ensure that our infrastructure is capable of withstanding a strong quake.

Last week at a meeting of the Ladner Business Association, Brian Hart and Mike Owen, local businessmen with significant knowledge of the lower Fraser River, pointed out that Ladner and Richmond, like Christchurch, are built on an alluvial plane and located on a fault zone.

Furthermore, they are below sea level and protected by dikes. That means for our two communities, merely having specially strengthened buildings and bridges is not enough. Our dikes must be maintained at a level to withstand a serious quake.

We must be prepared. Being prepared means we must all work together. There is no reward for complacency.

Canadian Peres Center for Peace FoundationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Peres Center for Peace Foundation offers a glimmer of hope for those who yearn for lasting peace in the Middle East. Arming for security and preparing for war are still important, even though unconventional and high-tech weaponry make every country vulnerable and, as current events illustrate, popular awakenings can make even the mighty tremble.

Happily, there are those who also recognize the power of science, technology, information and education as borderless agents of change. Led by a veteran of war and statecraft, the Canadian Peres Center for Peace Foundation offers those who want to build for the future, and those who want to construct an architecture to house human and civil society values based on compassion and service to others, the mechanisms to reach out to the marginalized and the vulnerable.

The center's comprehensive strategy of “medicine in the service of peace” provides Palestinian children with the same high quality sustainable health services enjoyed by Israeli children, addressing some 1,500 cases each year.

Mazel tov. They need our help to succeed.

SyncrudeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, Syncrude Canada supports the aboriginal people of northern Alberta in many ways through its aboriginal relations program. Those of self-declared first nations, Métis or Inuit descent make up 8.6% of Syncrude's workforce. Syncrude is proud to be one of the largest employers of aboriginal people in Canada.

Syncrude invested over $1.3 million in aboriginal community projects in 2009, and the total business of Syncrude with First Nations and Métis owned companies since 1992 is over $1.4 billion.

Syncrude funds numerous scholarships and programs for research and development. It has received a variety of awards, including the Environmental Stewardship Award from Alberta Venture magazine, gold level certification for progressive aboriginal relations from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses, the Alberta Human Rights Commission's Diversity Leadership Award of Distinction, and the Alberta Emerald Foundation's award for research and innovation.

I commend the great Canadian company Syncrude for its advancement of our aboriginal people and for the great work it does for Canada in northern Alberta.

Jackie RobinsonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, Black History Month wrapped up yesterday in Montreal with a commemorative ceremony to honour Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play baseball in the major leagues, as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In order to pay tribute to this legend's time in Montreal, a plaque was unveiled at the home in Villeray where he and his family once lived.

In 1946, Robinson spent several months with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers' top farm club, in order to mentally and physically prepare for what he might have to face in the major leagues, which had a strict segregation policy. Robinson's widow said that they received a warm welcome from Montrealers, who were always willing to lend a helping hand.

The Bloc Québécois would also like to pay tribute to the memory of this man who was more than a pioneer in his sport. Through his talent and his courage in the face of adversity, in his own way, Jackie Robinson helped to fight against racial discrimination. He is an inspiration to us all.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Liberal international trade critic was dispatched to Brantford in a failed attempt to score cheap political points by exploiting industries hardest hit by the global recession. She claimed that the removal of a company's name from one plant's exterior was “sad” and “depressing”.

Allow me to correct the record. What she actually witnessed was another example of how our government is making Canada the most attractive place for job creators to invest. The sign removal was in preparation for the new logo of Brant Screen Craft, an expanding local company that purchased the plant last year.

Outraged by her misleading comments, the company's vice-president responded by stating:

Ironically, we had looked into locating our finishing and distribution facility in Michigan. The corporate tax cuts and programs provided by the Conservative government were the deciding factor to expand in Canada. The 50-plus jobs in this facility have stayed in Brantford because of the Conservatives.

This is more evidence that Canada's economic action plan is delivering results for Brant.

B.C. Premier DesignateStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to personally congratulate my dear friend, Christy Clark, for becoming British Columbia's premier designate this past Saturday.

I also want to congratulate the other leadership candidates, Michael de Jong, George Abbott and my close friend Kevin Falcon, who all ran with integrity, pride, honour and vision.

Having known and worked with Christy for many years, I have great confidence in and admiration for her intelligence, tenacity and the new brand of politics that she hopes to bring to the province of British Columbia.

Christy, as a working mother, knows first-hand the challenges Canadian families face in this economy, and what can and must be done so that British Columbia can remain one of the top five provinces in the world to live. I know she will be a fantastic leader and I am proud to call her my personal and close friend.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating Christy.

IranStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government is deeply concerned at reports about the detention of two Iranian opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi. The two leaders have been under house arrest since February 14, 2011, when they called for a peaceful protest in support of the events in Egypt. Now we hear that these two leaders have been imprisoned by the Iranian authorities.

It is the height of hypocrisy for the Iranian regime to express its support for protests in Egypt and Libya but then violently suppress and ruthlessly intimidate similar protesters in its own country.

We, along with the rest of the international community, are closely monitoring events in Tehran as opposition leaders call for peaceful protests every Tuesday of this month. Our government calls upon the Iranian government to immediately respect the rights of its citizens and allow for these peaceful protests to take place.

Sustainable DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, sustainable development refers to the government's obligation to think about the impact on future generations every time a decision is made. One of the basic principles of sustainable development is the precautionary principle, which involves looking at the long-term effects of what we are doing and not making a decision that could have a negative impact in the future.

Shale gas exploration and development is a concrete example of why the precautionary principle is necessary. Although natural resources fall under provincial jurisdiction, aspects of their development, such as the effect on navigable and floatable waters, must be examined by the federal government.

We need only look at what the Environmental Protection Agency recently did in the United States, when it warned the people of Wyoming to stop using their well water to do laundry because of a risk of explosion. The agency issued this warning in August 2010. Future generations will never forgive us if we do not take care of them.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

March 1st, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, in partisan pre-election ads, the Ottawa NDP is talking about taxes. Let us take a look at the NDP's real record on taxes.

NDP members have opposed tax cuts. NDP members are offside on gas prices. They think that gas prices have been artificially lowered and need to be raised. NDP members are against providing tax relief to hard-pressed Canadian families and businesses.

NDP members voted against reducing the GST from 7% to 6% in budget 2006 and were against cutting the GST from 6% to 5%. The NDP leader has even described tax relief as reckless. NDP members support high taxes. They fought each cut of the GST and voted time and time again against reducing income taxes and the small business tax.

NDP members have done this many times before. If they get their way, they will do it again and Canada will pay.

Gilles DostalerStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Gilles Dostaler, who was an authority on economics as well as one of the original sovereignists and a great champion of social justice, recently passed away following a battle with cancer.

Gilles Dostaler had been a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal since 1975; his writings on the history of economic thought, specifically on John Maynard Keynes and neo-liberalism, are considered authoritative texts. This prolific writer produced many major works that have been translated into many languages. Known both in Quebec and abroad, this economist, whom I had the great privilege of knowing, developed an unquestionable expertise in state interventionism over the years.

I wish to pay tribute to this great humanitarian who has left us too soon. The Bloc Québécois offers its sincere condolences to his wife, stepdaughter and other loved ones.

KAIROSStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker,

This KAIROS issue begs some excuse:
Like a Ministerial Statement from Dr. Seuss
I must have pulled some shifty scam
To end up in the jam I am
Staff first said 'Yes'—I cannot lie
But with one word I would deny
How it appeared, it's hard to say
But, does it matter anyway?
Top bureaucrats, they did, I think
Inscribe the 'NOT' in deep red ink
They wrote the 'NOT' above the margin
It was not I, as they are chargin'
I had no role, is what I said
I had no role to make it dead
I had no role to stop the cash
It's bureaucrats that you should trash
I do not like this KAIROS bunch
Nor does my boss, that's my best hunch
That's why he put me on the spot
That's why he made me add the 'NOT'
That's what he made me think, I thought
That's why my credibility is shot
Handwriting experts in the field
Provide the truth that should be yield
The hand that changed the 'Yes' to 'No'
Was on the arm of the PMO.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government does not impose new taxes on Quebeckers and does not undertake massive expenditures, the members of the Bloc, together with the Liberals, will force an unnecessary election.

The members of the Bloc are abandoning Quebeckers who live in the regions and are thinking only of their buddies in Plateau Mont-Royal. Canada is leading the international economic recovery and our Conservative government is taking concrete action. While the Bloc Québécois was opposing our measures, Conservative members from Quebec were taking action for all regions. We support all sectors of the economy, including our forestry, agriculture and financial sectors, and we are creating economic opportunities for all Quebeckers.

The choice is clear. Quebeckers can choose between the Bloc Québécois, which abandons Quebeckers, or the Conservatives, who are working to build a strong Quebec within a united Canada.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the public prosecutor has charged four members of the Prime Minister's inner circle of serious violation of Canada's election law. The public prosecutor says that evidence of illegal activity is voluminous. So this is not just some accounting dispute, we are talking about election fraud.

Given that the Prime Minister's party is facing a public prosecution for illegal activity, will he commit to this House today that at the next election there will not be another in and out scam?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is an administrative dispute with Elections Canada that has been going on for five years.

Let us be clear, the dispute is whether certain expenses should be counted as local or national. We have a difference of opinion on this. We maintain that our people acted under the law as they understood it at the time.

When it was clear that Elections Canada had changed its interpretation of the law, this party had already adjusted its practices in the 2008 election campaign.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not an administrative matter; it is a matter of illegal activity. Four members of the Prime Minister's inner circle have been charged with violating the Canada Elections Act. The public prosecutor clearly says that evidence of illegal activity is voluminous.

Can the Prime Minister assure us that, at the next election in Canada, there will not be another in and out scam?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is an administrative dispute we have been having with Elections Canada since 2006. It is a matter of defining local and national expenses. We maintain that our people obeyed the rules in place at the time. When interpretations change, we adjust our practices, which is what we did in 2008. I hope the Liberal Party did the same.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, these replies are completely ridiculous. This is not an administrative question. This is not an accounting dispute. This is a matter of an abuse of power.

Let me read something that the Prime Minister said when he created the office of the public prosecutor. He said:

Bend the rules, you will be punished; break the law, you will be charged; abuse the public trust, you will go to prison.

These are the Prime Minister's own words. Does he not understand that these words apply to him? Does he think he is above the law? Who does he think he is?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these are disputes over the interpretation of the rules. That is why we have courts. They will render their decisions as appropriate.

Our position is clear. We respected the rules as they were interpreted at the time. When those interpretations changed, the party has changed its position accordingly. It already did so in the 2008 election.

Since these practices were used by all parties, and we have lots of evidence of that, I hope all parties have also changed their practices.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are not getting any answers to clear questions and it is absolutely not true that we did the same thing. Only the Conservative Party is being accused of fraud, not us.

On another note, yesterday the House voted clearly to force the government to provide the necessary documents for assessing its upcoming budget.

Will the Prime Minister obey the House and produce these documents by Monday, or will he continue to show contempt for the House?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, a request for certain information was made a long time ago and the government has already given that information to the opposition.

I hope the Liberal Party and the other parties will read the budget before taking a position on it.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we cannot judge the budget without the necessary documents. That is how we show respect for the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister withholds documents. He defends friends charged with illegal activity. He shuts down Parliament when it gets in his way. He keeps a minister in cabinet who does not tell the House the truth and will not even let her get up and defend herself in the House of Commons. All of this is an abuse of power. It is an abuse of democracy.

The Prime Minister goes around the world preaching democracy overseas. When will he defend and practice democracy--

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in all of that, the leader of the Liberal Party raised the question of the budget. It is the responsibility of all members of Parliament to read a budget before deciding on it. I know the Liberal Party leader seems to have made up his mind on the March budget back some time in September or August.

I would encourage him to take his responsibilities seriously, to look at the budget documents when they are tabled, read them and obviously do what is best for the Canadian economy, which is to continue to focus on that economy and not on an unnecessary and opportunistic election.