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House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

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 hon. member for Papineau.

[Members sang the national anthem]

St. AlbertStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, Rendezvous 2011 is the 150th anniversary celebration of the founding of St. Albert, the oldest non-fortified community in Alberta.

The Rendezvous 2011 committee has organized many events as part of the year-long celebration, beginning with a black tie gala dinner in January. There was a bilingual outdoor snow festival on Family Day, interpretive street performances, and a huge homecoming weekend. In August, 10,000 St. Albert residents met for a record-breaking picnic in the Sturgeon River Valley.

The festivities will continue throughout the remainder of this year and will conclude with a giant fireworks display on December 31.

These events have given the entire community the opportunity to cherish our past, honour our present and look forward to our future.

I want to take this opportunity to extend my sincere congratulations and thanks to the Rendezvous 2011 organizing committee and its chair, Mrs. Margaret Plain, for all of their hard work and dedication in making the 150th year-long anniversary such a great success.

I thank the hundreds of volunteers who have made this year-long celebration possible. Happy birthday. Great job, St. Albert.

International Day of PeaceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that today is the International Day of Peace. It is an opportunity not only to promote pacifist values, but also to oppose violence of any kind in armed conflicts.

Such violence affects millions of people around the world. It takes various forms, both physical and psychological. Unfortunately, all too often, women and children are the victims of violence in armed conflicts.

Thus, in solidarity with these women and children and all other victims of war, I invite all parliamentarians and all Canadians to reflect on what we can do for peace, for a better world.

Parliament Hill Softball LeagueStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday the winners of the Bob Allen and Jean-Paul Lorrain Memorial Cup for the Parliament Hill Softball League were crowned.

The winning team, composed almost entirely of Hill staffers, played hard through a long season and embodied the twin goals of fitness and good sportsmanship with not a small touch of fun thrown in for good measure.

My apologies in advance but I salute the champions, known as the Hawntourage, for defeating the Ritz's Farm Team in a thrilling extra-innings game.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all.”

I would also like to salute all of our colleagues' staff who do so much work on our behalf, especially as we embark on what will be a very busy fall session in Parliament.

I am sure I speak for all of our colleagues when I say that I certainly could not do my job without Drew, Jordan and Branden here in Ottawa, and Averil, Oula and Linda in Edmonton.

May we all have a productive session and perhaps abide by my personal philosophy, "Work hard, play hard, but don't tear your sweater.”

Way to go, team.

Pointe-ClaireStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year the city of Pointe-Claire celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Pointe-Claire was originally an agricultural parish built around a windmill on the St. Lawrence River, and it helped spawn a handful of neighbouring municipalities that now form a large part of what is known as the West Island.

Good public administration under the leadership of mayors like Art Séguin, David Beck, Malcolm Knox and Bill McMurchie, combined with a commitment to excellence in sport and culture, are the hallmarks of this city of 30,000.

You can find everything in Pointe-Claire: a hospital, schools under two linguistic school boards, an excellent community centre, the first indoor Olympic-sized pool in Canada, a multi-sport artificial turf field, as well as the National Field of Honour, a veterans' cemetery.

Pointe-Claire is called home by Olympic diving medallist Anne Montminy, internationally renowned violinist Chantal Juillet, former CBC hockey broadcaster Dick Irvin, Canadiens' great Elmer Lach, and Juno award-winning musician Sam Roberts.

I ask all members to join me in wishing Pointe-Claire a very special happy birthday.

National Tree DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, six months ago the House proclaimed National Tree Day.

That day has arrived.

We have a worldwide reputation for our wildlife, clean air and beautiful communities. For that, we should thank trees.

We all have a role to play in planting, growing and protecting trees.

However, there are leaders like Tree Canada that work tirelessly to improve our communities with more trees.

In the past 20 years, they have planted 77 million trees and have supported countless urban forest programs, and they are not alone.

I urge all Canadians to take time today to plant, to care for and to thank a tree for all they do to improve our lives.

I invite all members to join me at four o'clock today at the Canadian Museum of Nature to plant a sugar maple in symbolic reverence for all the mighty power of trees in our lives.

International Day of PeaceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned, the International Day of Peace is an important event. Members of my own family had to leave their country because of war. This day was created by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly.

This year, we are celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the theme is “Peace and Democracy: Make your voice heard!". It is important to promote the desire for peace and the security of people.

On this International Day of Peace, on behalf of all of the victims of war, and of those who are advocating peace and especially on behalf of future generations, I wish to convey a message that has resonated loudly in a hotel room in Montreal: “All we are saying is give peace a chance”.

Prince George Chamber of CommerceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prince George Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The chamber began as the Board of Trade on September 17, 1911.

What began as a group of businessmen focused on the building of the foundation of their city has blossomed into an organization of more than 800 diverse Prince George businesses speaking with a single voice on issues that affect them locally.

To celebrate, on September 22, the Prince George Chamber of Commerce is having an open house and then on November 4, a formal centennial event.

Very few things last as long as 100 years in this day and age, so I congratulate the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, which has shown in spades that excellent service and longevity go hand in hand.

ArmeniaStatements By Members

September 21st, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Canadians of Armenian descent on this 20th anniversary of the independence of the Armenian Republic.

I am honoured to serve as chair of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group. I have enjoyed the opportunity to dialogue with Armenian Canadians in my riding, here on the Hill and across Canada.

While visiting Armenia, I was fascinated both by how far it has come in 20 short years of freedom and how young its democratic traditions are. Even the largest cities like Yerevan are a model of peace, cleanliness and safety.

All members of the House are here as the result of the peaceful democratic process governed by the rule of law. Too often we take this for granted. Today I invite all hon. members to join me in congratulating our Armenian Canadian friends and our colleagues serving in the Azgayin Zhoghov on 20 years of independence, 20 years of democracy and 20 years of progress.

Shnorhavor. Shnorhagallem.

Seniors' PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, Hamilton's Social Planning and Research Council released a report on September 16 entitled “A Profile of Vulnerable Seniors”.

This report shows that the poverty rate for Hamilton seniors is now at 17%, which is nearly three times the national average of 5.9%. The single most important factor contributing to this poverty is of course inadequate income.

A single senior who relies solely on old age security and the guaranteed income supplement still lives well below the poverty line. Worse still, the poverty rate for senior women in Hamilton is 22%, which is twice the average for senior men.

To address this problem, the report's lead researcher believes that the Canada pension plan should be increased, and I could not agree more.

The government also needs to implement the NDP proposal to increase the guaranteed income supplement beyond the meagre $50 a month offered by the Minister of Finance. We know that more needs to be done for seniors to eliminate poverty. The only thing lacking is the political will of the government.

International Day of PeaceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace. This year's theme is “Peace and Democracy: make your voice heard”.

We believe that peace and democracy are bound firmly together. It is evident that in tandem they form an atmosphere that promotes prosperity for all.

As it is clearly entrenched in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, democracy supports an environment for a host of political rights and civil liberties.

On this International Day of Peace, there are many opportunities to take part in democratic activities. For example, District 5550 of Rotary International in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario is participating in discussions on human equality and discrimination.

Today we join together with those who benefit freely from democracy and peace. We also join together with those who do not enjoy these freedoms. Our government, now and forever, will work to promote the Canadian and international values of peace and democracy.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week the Walk 4 Justice arrived in Ottawa after marching from Victoria to demand justice for missing and murdered Canadian aboriginal women. Sisters in Spirit has documented nearly 600 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women, some 30 of which occurred as the march progressed across Canada.

New Democrats support calls by Amnesty International, KAIROS, Sisters in Spirit and the Native Women's Association of Canada for a plan of action that must include a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women; support for women's shelters and support services; and equal access for aboriginal women to housing, education and employment.

These daughters, mothers, aunts or sisters are loved and deserve to be valued. We must act now to ensure our aboriginal sisters are spared further violence and injustice.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic position remains one of the world's best. However, the economic recovery is uncertain and remains fragile, and too many Canadians remain out of work.

Instead of supporting Canadian jobs and growth, the NDP finance critic chooses to fearmonger about a hypothetical recession as if the NDP is cheering for Canada to fail. Our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs and promoting economic health.

The IMF praises Canada for our “relatively healthy economic fundamentals” and our “sounder fiscal and financial position”. While these are encouraging signs, Canada is not immune to the economic turbulence facing the global economy, especially Europe and the United States.

That is why we need to stay the course and implement the next phase of Canada's economic action plan with measures like the hiring credit for small businesses. The last thing Canada's economy needs now is the NDP's massive tax hikes, which would kill jobs and set Canadian families back.

World Carfree DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, September 22, is World Carfree Day. In Quebec, organizations such as the Association des Centres de gestion des déplacements du Québec, Voyagez futé Montréal, Développement économique Saint-Laurent and Mobiligo have organized a carfree challenge to create awareness among Quebeckers about the benefits of available sustainable transportation options, to invite people who have never used sustainable transportation to try it, to encourage the public to use sustainable transportation more often and to encourage pedestrians and cyclists.

As the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, I am proud to be participating in and supporting this initiative, and I invite my constituents and all Canadians to visit www.defisansauto.com and take the challenge by leaving their car at home. Together we can build a better future.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, it was wonderful to learn that according to a recent Newsweek survey, Canada is the third-best country in the world in which to be a woman. Canada earned a full 100 points on the justice indicator and scored in the 90s on indicators such as health, education and economics.

This should come as no surprise. Our government has invested a lot of time and money across the country on issues important to women. We have increased our funding for women to its highest level ever. We are working hard with Canadians to end the abuse of women and girls.

Women can count on our government to pursue measures that create jobs and growth, support seniors, protect our health care system and fight against crime, while working to reduce and eliminate the deficit. More groups than ever are getting involved because our practical approach works.

World Alzheimer's DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is World Alzheimer's Day, a day to acknowledge a disease that affects more than 24 million people worldwide. It is a debilitating disorder that has a significant impact not only on those who suffer from Alzheimer's but also on their families.

Today is a day of hope and awareness: hope in knowing that people are working hard to bring a better quality of life to persons with Alzheimer's and to one day find a cure and also, awareness that those suffering, and their families, need our compassion and our help. What is needed is a comprehensive plan that will address the reality of our growing seniors population, and we need to develop the capacity to handle the increased numbers of seniors suffering from this disease.

I thank all those Canadians who support and care for people who suffer from Alzheimer's. Their sacrifices and dedication are truly heroic, and they deserve to be recognized.

Sir Robert BordenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, today, “100” is not just associated with Nova Scotian Sir Robert Borden because his image graces the front of the $100 bill. Today is the centennial anniversary of the Conservative Party's 1911 general election victory, a victory that saw us form government for the first time in 15 years.

Prime Minister Borden led Canada through the Great War. It is said that it was on the battlefields of Europe that Canada came to age as a country. It was for those efforts that Sir Robert Borden fought with British Prime Minister Lloyd George to ensure that Canada would be a signatory at the Peace of Versailles, which was a very important step in Canada emerging as a key player in the Commonwealth.

Prime Minister Meighen said it best, when describing this proud Nova Scotian prime minister, when he said that Sir Robert served Canada well.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister says that we are okay because we are not doing as badly as the others. That is not good enough.

This week's dismal report of the Canadian economy by the IMF should be a wake-up call. How can the Conservatives pretend the IMF report was good news? How can they brag about doing well when between 1.5 and 2 million Canadians are out of work?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Because it is true, Mr. Speaker. Canada is doing relatively well. That is what the IMF said yesterday.

We have the best fiscal position in the G7. We have the lowest total government net debt to GDP ratio in the G7. We have the best growth in the G7. We have the best banking system in the world. Canada is the best place to invest and do business in the next five years according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. We have the best job creation in the G7 since the recession.

All of this is true, and that is why we are doing relatively well.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' policies have widened the gap between the rich and the middle class. The poverty level is rising. The unemployment rate is rising. The minister can play with the numbers, but the truth is that in order for Canada to achieve the same level of employment that we had before the recession in 2008, we need 420,000 more jobs. That is the reality.

Why is the minister pleased to see that 2 million Canadians are out of work?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that we had and still have a very successful economic action plan. A total of 600,000 net new jobs have been created in Canada since the recession began. We are still in the process of implementing our budget, including an upcoming hiring credit for SMEs. As my colleague the Minister of Finance, was saying, we see here that we have the lowest net debt to GDP ratio. We also have the best growth in the G7. Canada is the best place to invest in the next five years. These are results, and that is what Canadians expect. Thanks to the good work of the Minister of Finance, we are on the right track.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister needs to open his eyes.

Scotiabank is saying that we are on the verge of a recession. Moody's is saying that households are carrying too much debt. The IMF revised Canada's economic outlook downward. It is not the NDP that is saying these things. It is his friends. Inflation is way up, which will hurt the poor and the middle class and slow the economy down even further.

Is the minister aware of this?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. What is this report saying? It is saying that over the next two years, we will have the best economic growth in the G7 and will be the best place to invest. That says something for all the jobs that were created here. On the other hand, the NDP is proposing plans to increase taxes by $10 billion a year. That would kill the economy. It would be an economic fiasco. That is not what we are going to do.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, job creation is not the same thing as growth in the labour force. It is far from encouraging for the families of the two million Canadians who are unemployed, underemployed or downright discouraged. The rising price of gas and groceries is putting additional pressure on Canadian families' budgets.

The Conservatives are very generous with the oil companies, but why are they not doing more for Canadian families?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me deal with the facts. The oil companies pay the same taxes as other Canadian businesses pay. It is high time that suggestions to the contrary are stopped, because they are not accurate.

I know the member opposite wants to try to be accurate when she talks about tax matters in Canada and accurate, of course, about the NDP plan that that party advanced to the people of Canada in the last election to raise taxes by about $10 billion per year on businesses, which we all know will be passed along to individuals as part of the cost of doing business. That proposal by the NDP is inflationary for Canadian families.