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House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

Korean WarStatements By Members

June 13th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the war in Korea, the forgotten war, a war still on hold, still not resolved, the war that was never declared, but make no mistake, it was a war. Some 30,000 Canadians served under severe conditions. They gave a small, beleaguered nation the opportunity to be free. The price of this freedom was 516 who never came home, who never grew old.

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry received an American presidential citation for its heroic accomplishments, against unbelievable odds, protecting the capital city of Seoul against possible capture in the battle of Kapyong.

Patrick O'Connor of the Royal Canadian Regiment was killed one day after penning these poignant words:

There is blood on the hills of Korea
It's the gift of freedom they love
May their names live in glory forever
And their souls in Heaven above

We must not forget.

ManicouaganStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity during my first speech in the House to acknowledge the several thousand members of the Innu and Naskapi nations who mobilized and placed their confidence in me on May 2.

Such aboriginal participation in federal politics, and Canadian politics in general, had never been seen in 500 years of shared history. The fact that my non-native constituents also opted for a culturally integrated vision of regional development and social relations lays the foundation for a new alliance between the Quebec, Coaster, Innu and Naskapi communities in the riding of Manicouagan.

Given the reality of northern development, this solidarity will be essential for giving precedence to citizens' interests, social imperatives and environmental ideals over purely commercial considerations.

Accordingly, my interventions during this Parliament will focus on preserving and enhancing the unique dynamic of my riding.

SyriaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has taken a clear and principled stand in opposition to the current Syrian regime. We have implemented sanctions designed to punish those currently in power for the violence and atrocities they have perpetrated against their own citizens.

Sadly, the regime has continued its abhorrent ways this weekend, sending military forces into the town of Jisr al-Shugur, to suppress anyone who might oppose it, even peacefully. Thousands of people have fled to other parts of Syria and to neighbouring Turkey.

I would like to commend Turkey for its openness and organization in welcoming these refugees and attending to them in an orderly way. Turkey is a friend of these new refugees and a long-time ally of Canada. Syrian officials are to be soundly condemned for their actions.

Our government will continue to monitor the situation in Syria. Working with our allies, we will continue to act decisively in support of the Syrian people who are seeking greater freedoms and the most basic of human rights through peaceful means.

National Blood Donor WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are celebrating National Blood Donor Week from June 13 to 19.

Recognized by a bill in 2008, National Blood Donor Week is an opportunity to thank the donors and volunteers that help to ensure the health of all their fellow citizens.

It is also an opportunity to make people aware of the importance of donating blood and encourage them to do so, particularly during the summer months when donation levels are usually down.

On behalf of the New Democratic Party and the people of Beauharnois—Salaberry, I would like to thank Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec for their commitment. I encourage everyone to give blood. Let us work together to save lives because giving blood is giving of ourselves.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, in March we presented the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, a positive plan to keep taxes low, and support jobs and growth.

Canadians want the budget and its important economic measures passed without delay.

Later today, Parliament will vote to approve the budget in principle. We will vote on a budget that will support Canada's forestry, mining, manufacturing, agricultural and aerospace sectors; increase income support for Canada's most in need seniors; bring health care and social transfers to record highs; help attract doctors and nurses to rural areas; provide tax relief for family caregivers, volunteer firefighters; and more.

Today we will vote on a budget that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said, “will continue to support the economic recovery and help Canadian businesses prosper”.

I ask the opposition, why would it vote against this budget and its positive initiatives?

Let us work together and move forward with our low tax plan and Canada's economic recovery.

Flooding in MontérégieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity here today to commend the extraordinary generosity shown by Quebeckers this weekend during the cleanup, dubbed “La Grande Corvée”, of the flood zone in Montérégie.

Over 3,000 volunteers worked together to ease the suffering of the men, women and children who have been enduring the wrath of nature for over 50 days now.

I would also like to congratulate the event's organizers, led by my good friend Michel Fecteau, the man behind SOS Richelieu, and his team. They did an excellent job. Bravo to you, Michel, and to your entire team.

I would remind everyone that another big cleanup is planned for June 18 and 19. For more information, please visit www.sosrichelieu.com.

Albert Jacquard once said “From now on, the solidarity needed most of all is that of everyone on earth”.

The magnificent solidarity shown by the people of Quebec deserves to be applauded by all members of Parliament.

Vancouver CanucksStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Chilliwack--Fraser Canyon is a vast riding that encompasses a number of small communities, including the Fraser Canyon community of Boston Bar. Boston Bar is home to about 800 people and has its history rooted in the gold rush.

The people of Boston Bar are now enthusiastically behind the Vancouver Canucks' rush for silver in the form of the Stanley Cup. Just to ensure that the good people of Boston Bar would not be accused of favouring the rival Boston Bruins, they have decided to temporarily change its name to Vancouver Bar for the month of June.

With game six of the Stanley Cup finals taking place tonight, I would invite all members of the House to join with me and with all Canadians to salute the community of Vancouver Bar for taking this symbolic step to cheer on Canada's team. Go Canucks go.

Vancouver CanucksStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the big night, the sixth game in Boston. This evening, after 18 years, the cup will be coming home to Canada.

On this side of the House, even Montreal Canadiens fans are behind the Canucks. This is their 40th anniversary and the NDP will be there to celebrate their 50th.

Like the Canucks, we know something about perseverance and breakthroughs.

I think of all those young boys and girls who play Canada's game for the love of it. All those early mornings and the life lessons learned. None of those kids have ever seen a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup.

That is going to change tonight. It is time for them to feel that rush of Canadian pride, like we did with the 1993 Habs or throughout the eighties with the Oilers.

So, for the kids, let us say it loud and clear. Go Canucks go.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, in March, we presented the next phase of the economic action plan, a plan to keep taxes low, create jobs and ensure economic growth. Rather than focusing on the economy, the opposition triggered an election, but Canadians voted for our plan to support job creation and economic growth. Canadians want this budget and these measures to be adopted without any further delay. Later today, Parliament will vote to approve the budget based on these principles.

This budget will support forestry, mining, manufacturing and agriculture, as well as the aerospace sector. It will increase support for the neediest seniors and funding for the health system. It will lower taxes for families. In short, this budget will ensure our economic stability. Let us work together and move forward with our plan for low taxes and continued economic recovery.

LibyaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada is involved in the conflict in Libya, and the government will ask Parliament to extend the commitment of our armed forces. As we prepare to debate and vote, the Prime Minister should answer some questions.

First, is the objective of the mission in Libya still to protect civilians, as requested by the UN resolution?

LibyaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, absolutely. Our work in Libya is in accordance with the UN resolution. Our military mission has not changed. The resolution on this policy, which we will debate tomorrow, will aim to extend the mission by three and a half months.

LibyaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the suffering of the Libyan people has gone on for far too long. What is needed now is a Libyan-led political transition. The international community must work to negotiate a ceasefire and to ensure the continued protection of civilians.

Considering that, can the Prime Minister tell us, will the government commit to remaining strictly within the bounds of the UN resolution and the UN mandate? Will the government commit to increasing Canada's contribution to the UN humanitarian appeal?

LibyaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the UN sanctioned mission in Libya to protect the vulnerable civilians is not a partisan one.

I want to say I greatly appreciate the engagement of both the New Democrats and the Liberals on this very important issue. The leader of the NDP, the NDP foreign affairs critic and others have called for greater humanitarian support to support the vulnerable people of Libya.

I want to say to them very directly that we appreciate that advice and agree with the Leader of the Opposition.

LibyaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, people would think that no one would be a fan of Gadhafi, but he has been pretty good for business.

Under the government, Canada's exports to Libya have skyrocketed and that included the sale of arms to the Gadhafi regime. Canadian owned SNC-Lavalin received a $275 million contract to build a prison for Gadhafi.

Will the government finally take steps to ensure that Canadian investment never contributes to human rights violations abroad?

LibyaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously this government and this House have authorized sanctions be made against the Libyan regime, a specified group of people.

I am certainly very happy to entertain any ideas or suggestions that the Leader of the Opposition has in this regard.

Obviously one of the key elements of Canada's foreign policy is to promote Canadian values, the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law abroad. We are certainly prepared to work with the Leader of the Opposition on this issue.

Auditor General's ReportOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on another topic, the Auditor General has issued a damning report on the questionable use of the border infrastructure fund. The Prime Minister's defence does not hold up.

The Prime Minister is suggesting to Canadians that it is normal for a border improvement fund to be used for everything except improving borders. What planet is he living on?

Auditor General's ReportOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we had to move expeditiously, as we did at the height of the economic downturn, to get infrastructure projects moving. These infrastructure projects had to move especially quickly.

At the end of the day, as Minister of Infrastructure, I signed off on the estimates. One of the things contained in there was a proposal recommended to me by the public service, a proposal that I accepted, to use that gateway fund to get the projects moving especially quickly to meet the tight timeframes.

The Auditor General has made some important recommendations on transparency and accountability to Parliament and this government completely agrees.

Auditor General's ReportOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, maybe the government is not precisely sure what the money was spent on, but let us just remind folks here in the House that even under the disguise of the G8 legacy fund some of this just does not cut it.

There is $1.2 million for benches, bike racks and flagpoles 62 kilometres from the summit; $1.3 million on sidewalks 85 kilometres from the summit; and $2 million on a walkway, docking facilities, landscaping and lighting 131 kilometres away from the summit, nowhere near the border. How can the government justify these kinds of expenditures?

Auditor General's ReportOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there were three objectives of the legacy fund. The second was to spruce up an already beautiful part of our country. There were literally 2,000 journalists from around the world in addition to thousands and thousands of delegates, some staying well in excess of 100 kilometres away from the summit site itself. These were all public infrastructure projects that came in on budget. Every single dollar was accounted for on these municipal public infrastructure projects.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is forgetting the fourth one: to re-elect the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka.

My question is for the Minister of Public Safety.

It has now been a year since the report of Judge Major on Air India. We are now coming up to June 23, which is always a moment of enormous sadness and memory for the families of the Air India bombing.

Why is it that the Government of Canada has made no decision yet with respect to ex gratia payments to these families who have been waiting for so long for justice, consideration and reconciliation?

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the bombing of Air India Flight 182 is a stark reminder that Canada is not immune from the threat of terrorism.

One of the first acts of our government was to commission an inquiry into the Air India bombing, something that had been left long neglected by the prior Liberal government. By commissioning the Major report to investigate the failings that led to the attack in 1985, our government listened to the families of victims when no other government would.

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if one listens to what Judge Major has said recently about the conduct of the government since his report was published, it is very clear that the kind of pious sanctimony coming out of the mouth of the minister just does not match the situation we are facing.

I ask the minister, why no ex gratia payments and why no movement on the key recommendations of Judge Major with respect to the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service? Why have you not moved on these questions?

Air IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why you have not moved on it, but what I can say is that we have delivered our response to that report with the Air India inquiry action plan. This action plan is a road map, a document that looks at where we were, where we are and where we need to go to help ensure that such a horrific attack does not occur again.

We thank the families of the victims who have worked and consulted on this action plan and we commit to their continued involvement and consultation through this ongoing process.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans now knows that what he wants to close in St. John's and Quebec City are rescue centres for people in marine distress, and not simply call centres. In Quebec City, the French language issue is also involved. Navigation in the St. Lawrence is very difficult. If a problem arises, precise, fast and efficient answers are needed in the appropriate language. There is no room for any misunderstanding.

Will the minister leave the rescue centres where they should be in order to save lives?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the consolidation of the search and rescue dispatch centres into the joint rescue coordination centres will have no negative impact on the current levels of service provided by the Coast Guard. The maritime community across Canada will still receive services in both official languages by both the Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and Canadian Forces aircraft from their existing locations. Mariners in distress will continue to communicate with the Maritime and traffic communication centres and the same ships and aircraft will respond as they have always done.