This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #10 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, in 1997, I was here in the House of Commons when we voted on that measure. There was no strike at that point, and the contract had not even been signed. There was a vote here in the House and I could have the record brought up. It may have been another time, not 1997, when there was no strike but there was a vote in the House of Commons. Mr. St-Julien even took off his suit jacket and was ready to fight with the postal workers.

The real question is whether there should be a minimum length of time before the government intervenes. Does the Liberal Party think that one or two days is not long enough but that nine days is okay? Then companies would only have to wait nine days. The Liberals are saying the same thing as the Conservatives—that it is just a question of time.

But the opposite is true. These companies need to understand that they must negotiate. Employees have the right to strike and the companies have the right to lock them out. They should use those rights and resolve the issues. That is the only way to solve these problems; otherwise, the government gets involved. If the government wants to get involved, it should provide mediators who are able to negotiate with both parties but do not impose legislation the way the Liberals and Conservatives have both done.

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Acadie—Bathurst for his very passionate defence of the rights of workers in our country.

What does the member think this kind of legislation means in terms of the commitment to the collective bargaining process by the government? What does he think it means in the lives of workers when they have spent many years with the company, making sacrifices as they have gone along, particularly with Air Canada and its almost bankrupt situation a few years ago? What does it mean to workers when they have put so many years into a company, then just as they think they might be facing retirement, to be told that the benefits they have worked so hard for and that they have paid into could be stripped away from them?

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is tough for them. The minute a third party comes in and decides what will be in the collective agreement, it helps a company to go one way and it helps it succeed in beating the workers, who have no defence because the government has come in with a law.

What does it say to the whole world? What does it say to all those companies in the forestry industry that closed their plants after so many years and to the people who worked in those plants and paid into their pension plans?

When people go to negotiation, that is the way it goes. They could negotiate upfront the money they will get. If they want $1 increase, they will get that dollar right away. That is safe. That is put in their pockets right away. However, they may ask that a portion of that $1 be put aside for their pension plans, so when they retire, they will have good lives with their families, realizing they have spent more time with their employers than their families.

The workers then might want to retire after 30 years. They check their pensions to find out that the 20¢ they had asked the employer to put on their pensions is gone. What the company has done, not the government because I am not allowed to say it, is stolen the money from the workers. It has walked away with it. This is unfair to the men and women who have built our country.

This is totally unfair and unacceptable. That is why I say that government has no right to get involved.

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to inform the government that all the members of this House share its concerns for the economy. However, I believe that the fundamental question here is whether the government believes that, in Canada, by definition, workers' rights are a hindrance to the economy. The way the government is intervening immediately and being so heavy-handed from the outset, when Air Canada itself says there has not been enough disruption to flights to cause its clients any concern, is a way of telling the unions in Canada that the government will always side with the employer before the bargaining process can even run its course.

My party is not against government intervention when we see that essential services might be affected, that Canadians might suffer from the situation and that the economy might be affected. However, we believe the role of the government, as much as possible, is to encourage the partners to find a negotiated solution and not to intervene from the very start as it is doing right now.

We believe that with the two strikes going on right now at Canada Post and at Air Canada, the government wants to send a message to all salaried employees in—

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I must interrupt the hon. member to give the floor to the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst for a very short answer.

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the case of Canada Post, the letter carriers have said they are prepared to ensure all essential services. They are prepared to deliver all the old age security cheques. They are prepared to do all the essential things. What is more, they asked Canada Post to reinstate their former collective agreement during the negotiations and said they would be prepared to go back to the bargaining table and get to work. It was Canada Post that locked them out.

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I know my colleague from Acadie—Bathurst would want me to clarify the record on this particular point. He made comments during his speech with regard to the 1997 back-to-work legislation by the previous Liberal government. In fact, the strike vote had been taken on November 19, and the legislation was passed on December 5. There had been a significant period of time.

I have a summation of the critical path of that legislation. I will look for unanimous consent to table this summation.

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table that summation?

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Sitting ResumedAir Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

There will be three minutes left for questions and comments after question period.

We will move on now to statements by members. The hon. member for Delta—Richmond East.

Delta—Richmond EastStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I represent a beautiful riding stretching from sunny Tsawwassen to vibrant Hamilton, to picturesque Ladner and the historic fishing port of Steveston straddling the mighty Fraser River. I wish to specifically acknowledge the faith and hard work of my campaign team, my husband Brent Chapman, our four children, Hannah, Beau, Donna, Lindsay, and son-in-law John, a great grandson of a former Conservative prime minister of Canada.

My heartfelt thanks go out to the 54.2% of Delta—Richmond East voters who, on May 2, put their confidence in me and the Conservative Party's platform, especially our vision for justice and the economy.

I am proud to be part of a government that is a convincing and passionate voice for Canadian families.

Thanks, merci beaucoup or, as I say to my Mandarin-speaking constituents, Xièxie.

SheffordStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest NDP Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today for the first time in the House of Commons.

I would like to thank all the voters in the riding of Shefford who placed their trust in me on May 2. I am committed to working for them over the next four years and to representing their concerns in Ottawa. We have a lot of work to do to help families who are struggling to make ends meet, to improve our health care system and to help job-creating small businesses.

Over the course of my term, I will stand up for workers, to protect their salaries and their pensions.

I would once again like to thank the people of Shefford. I promise that I will be listening to what they have to say.

Wine IndustryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, coming from B.C., I know there are still some Canucks fans crying in their beer, but today I am talking about wine. The aspect of Motion No. 218 that I have brought forward supports efforts to bring Canada's wine laws into the 21st century.

Hailing from the beautiful Okanagan Valley, Canadians from all over the country are drawn to our vineyards for the ultimate wine and culinary tourism experience. Yet when they try to purchase bottles of wine to take home, they, like anyone living outside a wine-producing province, are prohibited from doing so. Likewise, despite a robust online market in most other consumer sectors, vintners are prohibited from selling directly to Canadian consumers.

The current law hurts the Canadian wine brand and prohibits the growth of fledgling wine producers. With the help of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of National Revenue, as well as strong grassroots support, we are working toward creating a personal exemption which respects the jurisdiction of provincial liquor boards.

Let us relax this archaic 1928 interprovincial trade barrier and create a win-win for Canadian wine producers and Canadian consumers. Let us free my grapes. Check out freemygrapes.ca.

HockeyStatements By Members

June 16th, 2011 / 11 a.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was going to stand in the House today, a disappointed Vancouverite, eat crow, congratulate the Bruins and gloat a bit about our 16 Canadian home boys who helped them win. I was going to say how proud I am that the Canucks played like champions and took it down to the wire, game seven. I was going to be cocky and tell Boston to enjoy the cup while it can. Next year the Canucks are bringing it home, white towel mojo and all.

That all seems so banal now. The looting and burning riots in Vancouver fill me with shame and sadness. Thanks to the first responders who kept us safe, the well-prepared VPD, RCMP, St. Paul's and VGH emergency. Vancouver's true sports fans were gracious in defeat, but for the small band of hooligans who defaced my beautiful city, justice must be swift and sure.

National ParksStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the 100th anniversary of Canada's national parks.

In my great riding of Leeds—Grenville this summer, people can visit the following sites of significance in Canada's history: the Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site near Prescott, where in 1838 British troops and local militia defeated an invasion force of 300 American and Canadian rebels and prevented them from capturing Fort Wellington; Fort Wellington, which was built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route; the St. Lawrence Islands National Park, a tiny jewel with a rich and complex natural and human history; the 1810 Old Stone Mill in Delta, which showcases milling technology and 1800s industrial heritage; and the best part of the Rideau Canal, which, including Fort Henry and the Kingston Fortifications, is a world heritage site. The Rideau Canal is the finest and only continuously operating example of a European slack water canal in North America.

I encourage Canadians to visit these sites this year.

TransportationStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday one of my fellow citizens wrote me to say it took her three hours to get from Lachine to downtown Montreal, three hours to go 12 kilometres. That is four kilometres per hour and at that speed it is quicker to walk.

The closing of the Mercier Bridge has seriously disrupted the daily lives of my constituents and those of West Island and South Shore. In my riding, there are not enough trains to meet the increased demands and the stations are too far apart.

We must find concrete and long-lasting solutions to build a better future. The time to act is now. I am convinced that working together we can find a solution and that we can improve the lives of the people of NDG, Lachine and Dorval. I am committing myself to this work today and I will not stop until we get the job done.

Ponoka StampedeStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, this year the Ponoka Stampede will celebrate its 75th anniversary.

For the past 75 years, the Ponoka Stampede has treated people from all over North America to a top-notch rodeo, exciting races and affordable family entertainment. Attracting approximately 60,000 spectators each year, the Ponoka Stampede has become a tradition not only for the spectators but also for the hundreds of volunteers who work hard year after year to make the Ponoka Stampede one of Alberta's prime annual tourist attractions.

There is something for all ages, a full slate of rodeo events, chuckwagon races, a huge parade, an art show, midway rides and games, and the always exciting fireworks at the end of the day. The high calibre of stock, the world-class contestants, plus the unsurpassed facilities ensure a great show rain or shine.

I encourage one and all to come to Ponoka from June 27 to July 3 and experience real western hospitality and celebrate 75 years of the Ponoka Stampede.

FamiliesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be a member of a government that respects the values, the principles and the beliefs for the needs of hard-working Canadian families.

Our government's low tax plan will permanently enhance the guaranteed income supplement for some 680,000 of Canada's most vulnerable seniors.

Our government also supports family caregivers by removing the cap on eligible expenses that caregivers can claim under the medical expenses tax credit.

We also support parents by providing their children with the opportunities to grow creatively by establishing the children's art tax credit.

We support Canadian parents, their children and grandparents. That is why we put forward the next phase of Canada's economic action plan. It is a low tax plan for jobs and growth and it is working. We have and will continue to be here for hard-working Canadian families.

Darshan GillStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week Surrey and the South Asian communities across B.C. mourned the loss of a great, progressive man. On June 10, Dr. Darshan Gill died of cancer at Surrey Memorial Hospital. He was 68.

Dr. Gill was a leader in our community. He was a strong secular voice for the South Asian population and his bridging efforts as a translator and a peacemaker were remarkable. He was the former editor of Canada Darpan which he founded in 1982. He also hosted Sahitnama, a literary program on Radio India every Sunday. He edited 20 books and the Punjab government granted him a literary award for his contribution to Punjabi literature abroad.

Dr. Gill worked tirelessly to promote the Canadian values he held so dear, justice, equality and fairness for all. Our thoughts are with his family and their three children. The residents in our community share in their loss.

HockeyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, in a wonderful outpouring of city and national pride, some 100,000 fans made the effort to support our home team the Vancouver Canucks in an exciting Stanley Cup series.

Despite a valiant effort, we were all heartbroken by the Canucks' loss in game seven to the Boston Bruins, yet there was no need for the fringe rioting in the streets to kick Vancouver when the city was already down.

Last night, thugs attacked our city destroying blocks of businesses, turning over cars and looting.

Vancouver is a very proud city. We continue to be ranked as a world-class city to work, live and play. However, last night our "city of glass" was shattered again by Stanley Cup rioting.

My thoughts, and all our thoughts on the government side, are with the people of Vancouver as our city cleans up after these unacceptable acts of hostility.

Hull—AylmerStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my constituents, the people of Hull—Aylmer, for placing their trust in me and electing me on May 2 to represent them here in the House.

Our work has already begun and issues such as protecting Gatineau Park, protecting public service jobs and a possible ferry between Aylmer and Kanata remain our priorities.

We are committed to moving forward on these issues and working with representatives of all levels of government to achieve them.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the 35th anniversary of Outaouais en fête, a festival to be held from June 23 to 26.

I would like to thank Mr. Perreault of Impératif français, as well as the event's organizing committee and all of the volunteers, who will contribute to the success of this national celebration, even though Canadian Heritage refuses to support the event.

PensionsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition is gathering in all its elements this weekend at the NDP national convention in Vancouver. Here the NDP will discuss radical hard left policies that have no room in mainstream Canadian politics.

I would like to highlight one plan from the Canadian Labour Congress that proposes a Canada pension plan premium increase that will raise taxes on hard-working Canadians and job creators. This is a risky scheme that will raise taxes on Canadians across this great nation. The NDP is so open to such a policy that it has actually proposed it twice in resolutions 3-02-11 and 3-03-11.

NDP members, who are out of touch, have to realize that they are now the official opposition and that there is no room in the mainstream of Canadian politics for radical policies such as this one.

Daniel LessardStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud and honoured to pay tribute today to a man who has decided to call it quits after 42 years as a journalist.

Daniel Lessard is one of those great journalists who made a difference in the wonderful world of politics. Having witnessed first-hand the major debates of the past few decades, he put things into perspective and was always a reliable source of information. Someone once said that integrity breeds credibility. Daniel Lessard helped build the reputation and credibility of the Radio-Canada newsroom and various current affairs programs, such as Les Coulisses du pouvoir.

I was interviewed often by Daniel. His interviews were a reflection of the man himself: respectful, honest, straightforward, without airs, but always determined to get to the bottom of things.

The Liberal Party of Canada and I wish him a happy retirement. Thank you, Daniel, for a magnificent career. Enjoy these tranquil moments with Debra and your sons, Christian and Charles-Adrian. We hope to see you again and we can hardly wait for your historical novel.

Good luck and thank you.

New Democratic PartyStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government remains focused on Canadians' priorities, the economy and employment, the NDP will be meeting in Vancouver to develop policies that it will defend as the official opposition. One of these policies results from fabrications of the radical left: a work year of only 45 days.

That is the NDP's idea of employment insurance reform.

Last year, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business described this idea as fiscally irresponsible.

If ever it were put into practice, this idea would cost Canadians at least $7 billion and would permanently increase contributions by 35%. Like the NDP's other tax increases, it would kill employment and stall our fragile economic recovery.

While our Conservative government is bringing Canadians back to work, the NDP is looking for ways to pay Canadians for only 45 days of work. The NDP has lost touch with reality and with Canadian families.

Daniel LessardStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, after a 43-year career, accomplished journalist Daniel Lessard is turning off his microphone.

This native of Beauce started his career in Montmagny, on the CKBM airwaves. He then worked in this region for CJRC before heading to Montreal, where he worked for CKAC.

He started working for Radio-Canada some 30 years ago, and remained there for the rest of his long and very successful career.

He hosted the famous Ce soir in the late 1970s, and then moved to Parliament Hill to become a radio, then television, correspondent, covering the most important events of our time.

As a television host and a key witness to his era, with an unparalleled ability to break down complex issues, Daniel Lessard left his mark on Parliament Hill and in people's homes. After spending the last six years hosting Les Coulisses du pouvoir, his retirement is much deserved.

We wish Daniel Lessard a happy retirement and many happy times together with his family.