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House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was businesses.

Topics

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the pages.

[Pages and members sang the national anthem]

Climate ChangeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate our wonderful pages on their beautiful voices and thank them for that incredible moment.

I am rising today to remind us that 23 years ago next week was the first global scientific conference on the threat of climate change. Canada sponsored it. We were proud to have that conference opened by our Prime Minister, and the scientists gathered there made the following statement:

Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war.

Since that time, the warnings of those scientists are no long future warnings of disappearing ice caps, retreating glaciers, increased floods and fires. They are the daily stuff of our newspapers.

Now is the time to reflect on the warnings of scientists to reinvest in their efforts and to ensure that once again Canada takes a lead globally in the fight to reduce greenhouse gases and protect our country.

Essar Steel AlgomaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I rise in the House for the very first time, I am deeply grateful to my family, my campaign team and the constituents of Sault Ste. Marie and area for their support in my being elected as the first Conservative member from Sault Ste. Marie since 1984.

Should corporate taxes be raised, which would have been necessary to fund the promises of the opposition, the ability of our major employer, Essar Steel Algoma, to compete in the global marketplace in an extremely volatile steel industry would be compromised, resulting in potential job loss.

Furthermore, a corporate tax increase would severely hinder the ability of Essar Steel Algoma to expand its port facilities, necessary to increase capacity and add to the 3,200 direct jobs already provided by Essar in Sault Ste. Marie.

I thank the ownership of Essar from India and the Ruia family for the investment they have made in Sault Ste. Marie and for the job opportunities they have provided.

I look forward to our government's negotiation of a trade agreement with India, as our dealings with that country have been exceptional and of such benefit to my riding.

Châteauguay—Saint-ConstantStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank the voters of Châteauguay—Saint-Constant for placing their trust in me to stand up for their interests here, and I plan on doing so with conviction.

I would also like to pay tribute to the Canadian family, the Quebec family in general, and, more specifically, my own family. I would like to thank the members of my immediate family who helped me during the latest election campaign. Their work and valuable help literally transported me right here to Parliament.

I would also like to highlight the unconditional support of my partner, Jacinthe, who does a remarkable job of taking care of my three young children, Sara, David and William. I hope to make up for my absences by working with all hon. members in this House to build a better future, a healthy environment and decent conditions for all Canadian children, and by working to ensure that they also want to be part of a remarkable family. Let us hear it for families.

Republic of South SudanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, on July 9, Canada will join with many other countries in recognizing and celebrating the birth of the world's newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan.

There is much to celebrate in the independence of this new nation. Most important for all the people of that long-troubled region is peace after 22 years of civil war.

Even a recent dispute between Sudan and South Sudan was successfully negotiated this week, demilitarizing the border town of Abyei and allowing residents to move back home.

Canada, along with many other western and African nations, has invested heavily in the peace process. Our Canadian contribution to Sudan totals $800 million in food aid, development and peace initiatives.

Even so, there is still much work to be done to secure a long-term peace in the Sudan, including resolving the conflict in Darfur. However, as the Prime Minister said recently, Canada remains committed to helping the Sudanese in “charting their future”.

KirklandStatements By Members

June 22nd, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the city of Kirkland.

Kirkland's history begins with the arrival of the Brunet family in the area in 1667. The Meloche and Daoust families were also among the first families to arrive.

Kirkland's town library is a testament to the spirit of volunteerism behind the city's social, sports and recreational life.

In 1971, nine women gathered together in an old wooden house to inaugurate the town's first library. The original modest collection of books was donated by the Boy Scouts, who went door to door to collect second-hand volumes. Through subsequent fundraising efforts, that at one point included raffling off a car, the Kirkland Public Library was well on its way to serving the fledgling community.

From its first mayor, Marcel Meloche, to its current mayor, John Meaney, Kirkland has been served by a long line of dynamic mayors, including Sam Elkas, later an MNA and Quebec cabinet minister, and Nick Discepola, who sat in this House from 1993 to 2004.

I invite all of the members to join with me in wishing a very happy 50th anniversary to the people of Kirkland.

Building Canada FundStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend two great events in Brandon—Souris.

The Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skateboard Plaza was officially opened this past Saturday. The skateboard park is named in memory of an enthusiastic young Brandon skateboarder whose life was cut tragically short. This park will become a meeting place for all in Brandon and is part of the city's plan to rejuvenate its downtown.

Following that, I had the privilege to take part in the grand opening of the Virden Regional Multi-Purpose Recreation Facility which features a 1,200-seat arena, change rooms for the pool, lounges, retail shops, a 500-seat banquet hall, fitness centre and walking track. This facility will provide much needed recreational opportunities for Virden and the entire western region of the province.

Both events were the product of successful partnerships between all levels of government, the private sector and community fundraising.

I am thrilled to see such positive results from our government's building Canada fund and was proud to participate in these wonderful grand openings.

Louis-HébertStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the people of Louis-Hébert for the trust they placed in me on May 2. On election day, 73% of them voted, which was the highest voter turnout rate in all of Quebec.

The people of Louis-Hébert, like everyone in the Quebec City area, are warm and welcoming. And so, I want to invite all of the members of the House and their families to visit our region.

The north shore, the south shore, festivals, events, culture in all its forms, history, outdoor activities or a nice meal shared with friends—you will surely find whatever it takes to have a wonderful experience and create lasting memories.

Welcome, and enjoy your summer.

Seniors MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is Seniors Month, and while others have risen in the House to pay tribute, I would like to add my voice of thanks to those who helped build this country and make it great.

Many seniors are veterans whose sacrifice we honour every Remembrance Day. Many others simply worked hard every day to build a better life for their children. Along the way, they built a better country for our grandchildren.

As we look toward Canada Day, we owe a deep debt of gratitude to our senior citizens. There is so much we can all learn from the wisdom and life experience of our seniors.

Our budget included a number of initiatives to help, including enhancements to the GIS for vulnerable seniors.

June also holds a special place in my heart for another reason. June is Scleroderma Awareness Month. My mother suffered from scleroderma, which is a progressive chronic connective tissue disorder. Hence, she became a senior for a precious short period of time.

I encourage Canadians to learn more at www.scleroderma.ca and let us find a cure.

Jean BéliveauStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise here today to pay tribute to a man who began a journey on August 18, 2000, with the goal of walking around the planet to promote peace and non-violence for the children of the world.

With nothing but a three-wheeled stroller to carry his things, Jean Béliveau, from Montreal, has walked 75,000 km in 64 countries. Last week, he was in my riding of Saint Boniface and we were honoured to welcome him. His five-day stop in Winnipeg means that his 11-year journey is almost over. I applaud his dedication to such an important cause.

His journey coincided with a UN proclamation declaring 2001 to 2010 the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World.

I would like to thank Mr. Béliveau for coming to Saint Boniface. I wish him all the best and, as a mother, I would like to personally thank him for his dedication to children all around the world.

VictoriaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am deeply honoured that Victorians renewed their trust in me in the last election. I am excited to work with them to advance their priority issues and complement their creative efforts toward a national housing strategy; to continue building a vibrant community with a caring spirit; to protect our coastal waters from tanker traffic and our west coast fisheries from contaminated feed lots from fish farms; to protect and streamline our public health care so it is efficient and responsive; to foster a strong local economy that supports green technology, clean energy, small business and good jobs; to secure senior government help for our regional LRT; and to stop the privatization of Victoria Harbour.

I am proud to represent Canada's most livable community and I will use every labour at my disposal to respond to their needs and interests.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a grim anniversary is upon us, and that is the fifth anniversary of the kidnapping of Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit by Hamas.

The last five years have been excruciating for his loved ones who have not received even a sign of life in almost 18 months.

Canada has been steadfast in calling for Gilad Shalit's release. I would ask all hon. members to join me in repeating that call today.

We also repeat calls for Hamas to allow the Red Cross or Red Crescent to visit him immediately.

Galid Shalit's kidnapping is one of several sticking points in the peace process. If there is to be true progress toward a two-state solution, let us start with Galid Shalit's unconditional and immediate release. May it end his suffering and that of his family.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, as the newly elected chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, I look forward to working with committee members to move forward on important issues facing women in Canada.

We know that during times of economic recession and difficulty, women face significant challenges. Women still earn only 71¢ to the male dollar. The rate of women in poverty continues to grow. As corporations and government seek to roll back the rights, pensions and benefits of working Canadians, women are often left the most marginalized.

A shocking rate of senior women, around 14%, are left to live in poverty. Without national programs in housing and child care, many young women struggle to build a stable future.

Many women still face unacceptable violence because they are women, and shockingly aboriginal women face some of the highest rates of abuse and even murder.

There is great work to be done and we can do this by listening to women and women's organizations and together work to achieve equality in Canada.

Brantford Red SoxStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Brantford Red Sox, steeped in tradition dating back to the start-up of the Canadian baseball league in 1911, celebrated its 100th anniversary last Friday.

Fans gathered to pay tribute to the players and teams who were the heroes to many in my community, including this MP.

The highlights are many. From 1949 to 1954, many of the players came from the disbanded Negro baseball leagues after Jackie Robinson broke the race barrier. The great Satchel Paige pitched against the Red Sox at Cockshutt Park.

The team won five consecutive post-war championships from 1958 to 1963.

The Red Sox hosted the only American league versus national league all-star game held outside the borders of the United States.

Yes, baseball has deep roots in Brantford.

I thank the Red Sox for baseball excellence over its first 100 years.

Triple Bay Eagles Ground Search and Rescue TeamStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a remarkable group in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's, the Triple Bay Eagles Ground Search and Rescue Team in the Clarenville area.

Comprised of 34 members, this volunteer group accumulated 3,935 hours of volunteer work last year, the highest in all of Newfoundland and Labrador. They routinely put their own lives in jeopardy and were among the first to respond last fall when hurricane Igor crippled the region.

This group exemplifies the tireless efforts of volunteers who keep many of our smaller towns and communities vibrant. Its work is invaluable.

I ask all members to join me in thanking the Triple Bay Eagles Ground Search and Rescue team for its continued commitment and dedication.

Harley HotchkissStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is with regret and deep sadness that I rise to advise the House of the passing of Harley Hotchkiss of Calgary, a true friend to all who knew him. Harley was best known as one of the people who brought the Flames north from Atlanta to Calgary.

Harley was a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence and a Companion of the Order of Canada. He truly desired a better country and did his part through various community initiatives.

The Calgary Brain Institute, named in his honour, the Stampede, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Foothills Provincial General Hospital and the Alberta Paraplegic Foundation all benefited from his kind heart and generosity.

An adopted Albertan, Harley Hotchkiss found his career in our province but through his good deeds made it his home.

We send our deepest regrets to his darling wife Becky and to his family.

Air IndiaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, June 23 is a painfully sad day for thousands of Canadian families.

Twenty-six years ago, 329 people lost their lives in a tragedy known as the Air India bombing, the largest mass murder in Canadian history. Although a Canadian inquiry was launched and completed, many questions remain unanswered. Relatives still struggle to understand how it happened.

Today our hearts go out to each and every one of them. On the anniversary of this atrocity, I stand here asking all parties in the House to join together in remembrance of the victims and their families.

Canadian, British and Indian citizens perished on that flight, but countries all over the world mourn them today.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave us a strong mandate to secure our economic recovery and implement our low tax plan to create jobs and economic growth.

That is why our government has reintroduced and passed the next phase of Canada's economic action plan and increased the guaranteed income supplement for seniors.

We have also taken action to protect our economy by introducing legislation to put an end to work stoppages.

Canadians gave us a strong mandate to remain focused on the priorities of Canadian families, jobs and the economy, and that we will do.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's message to workers could not be more clear: if they do not swallow whatever the employer gives them, then they can fully expect to get a worse raw deal in legislation from the government. The Conservatives are imposing even lower wages than the employer was offering to the workers.

He says that mail service is important to the economy and small business, but then he locks the door on the mail sorting plants and post offices. How can the Prime Minister blame the workers for the situation when it is his government that is shutting down the mail?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will get to the leader of the NDP's question in a second.

I would like to join with the member for Calgary Centre, as a Calgarian and a Canadian, in expressing my condolences on the death of Harley Hodgkiss, who was a great member of our community and our country.

In terms of the question, I think I have answered these questions before. The two parties to this dispute have been unable to resolve the dispute over a significant period of time. Through their actions, they are imposing greater and greater costs on the wider Canadian public. That is not acceptable to the government, and we will act to protect the wider interests of Canadians.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is adding insult to injury. First it attacks workers, now it is disrespecting Quebeckers. The NDP proposed to the Conservatives that we respect Quebec's national holiday by not sitting that day. The Conservatives said no. It is not important to them. I urge the Prime Minister to reconsider. The Standing Orders provide for this. We can resume sitting after the holiday.

Will the Prime Minister agree to suspend the work of the House and respect Quebec's national holiday?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this legislative measure is in place to protect the greater interests of the Canadian economy, our society and the general public. It is up to the NDP. This government is prepared to pass the bill quickly before the national holiday. I encourage the NDP members to do the same.

The SenateOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister show the same disrespect if we are forced to have to ask the House not to sit on Canada Day next Friday?

Disrespect is something we are seeing extended to the provinces with a force-feeding effort for legitimacy for the Senate. He is trying to create a two-headed monster, some elected, some not. He is trying to impose elections on provinces and premiers who do not want it.

Why not just give Canadians what they want: a chance to vote in a referendum on the future of the Senate?

The SenateOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the people of Quebec or across the country want to have any more referendums at this time.

The reality is that the government is not imposing anything on anybody here. The government has brought forward some modest and good reforms to the Senate of Canada. While I know this is not the position of the NDP, I would advise the NDP members to support these important reforms rather than aligning themselves with the forces of the status quo.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is once again telling us that the expiry of the health accord in 2014 is still a long way away and that it would be useless to start working on it now; however, the Wait Time Alliance's report says the exact opposite. The chair of the alliance, Dr. Lorne Bellan, has criticized the excessive amount of time people have to wait before receiving care. The longest wait times are here in Ottawa.

Will the Prime Minister wait until 2014 before taking action?