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House of Commons Hansard #166 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-15.

Topics

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague. I especially appreciated the link she made between some of this government's decisions, which do not always seem to make sense.

We are debating the issue of terrorism. Bill S-7 was introduced in the Senate and touches on certain basic rights. At the same time, we also talked about the elimination of the firearms registry. For the international community, as my colleague put it so well, gun control is a very important aspect of this because, as we know, the two are often connected.

I do not know if she talked about this, because I missed the beginning of her speech on Bill S-7, which she began here in the House the other day. One particular aspect of this bill really struck me. Several experts have said that everything we need already exists in the Criminal Code. It has been at least four years since this government has made any serious attempt to change the terrorism provisions the way Bill S-7 does, and this does not appear to have had much impact on the hunt for terrorists. I wonder what my colleague's thoughts are on that.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to thank my colleague from Gatineau for her very wise and interesting comments on this matter.

Indeed, the Conservative government has never before tried to legislate against terrorism as it is now with Bill S-7. As my colleague pointed out, the Criminal Code already covers all of this. Most experts agree that there is no need to initiate all of this or stir things up to change anything, since we already have the standards and legislation we need.

I have to wonder about the government's real motives for amending the Criminal Code and the Anti-terrorism Act. That is one of the big questions I have right now. Once again, I invite the government to reread the technical guides used by the counter-terrorism committee to determine whether the government knows the basics and what laws are needed.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, like my colleagues, I have questions about this bill. Security seems to be an important focus of the Conservatives' agenda but, when we look at where their priorities lie, we see that that is not true, at least not in Stanstead, which unfortunately is known as a sieve. It is not very pleasant. The fact that we are unable to post a sufficient number of staff at the border crossing at Stanstead prevents us from maintaining good relations with the United States. This is a very simple measure, but it seems that when it comes to taking real action that does not require very much effort—just a specific measure that produces results—the government introduces a bill that focuses on terrorism when that is clearly not the priority.

This morning, I would prefer it if the government talked about Stanstead and said that it would react by adding staff at that location. Instead, it is making cuts across the country, and we have seen the harm that this has done. What is more, from what the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said, we do not get the impression that the cuts are being made in a serious and effective way.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Québec, who has raised some very important points in today's debate.

All members of the House, no matter what their affiliation, agree that national security is extremely important. We must protect our country and our people. No one is opposed to showing goodwill, but what I find unfortunate are the means used by the other side to achieve its objectives.

The Minister of Public Safety constantly says that the government is tough on crime. Allowing people to cross the border illegally is not being tough on crime. Double-bunking inmates in our prisons and making inmate populations and our employees vulnerable is not being tough on crime. Abolishing the gun registry is not being tough on crime. The government is not taking the action needed to prove to the international community that we are ready to defend ourselves and to tackle terrorism effectively. On the weekend we saw that there are problems at our borders, and the government is missing out on a really good opportunity.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the member talk about the anti-terrorism legislation. I see the member going all over the map. She refers to some technical things from the United Nations. I had the privilege of sitting on the special committee on anti-terrorism after the 2006 election when we had to deal with the sunset clauses. I think the member also leads people to believe there are cutbacks at Canadian border services. Actually the number of officers has been increased under this government by some 25-plus per cent. The member also infers that there is something internationally illegal or something wrong with this legislation.

What the member does not say is that the Supreme Court has upheld similar legislation. What the member does not say is that countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa have all initiated legislation along this line.

What is it about Canada that we would not want to be with our partners, fighting terrorism that we see on the news is rampant throughout the world?

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for his question. He also works very hard on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. It is interesting to have different viewpoints on an issue as important as our national security. We do not always agree, but it is very important to have this debate today and to bring different ideas to the fore.

I would like to go back to many things my colleague just said. It is very important that I make it clear that I am not attacking the existing Anti-terrorism Act. However, I find it very intriguing that Bill S-7 is being brought forward. Our existing legislation is sufficient, and all the provisions we need are already in the Criminal Code.

I will come back to the increase in the number of border agents. I am glad that my colleague mentioned that in the House, since that gives me the opportunity to talk about it. In some places, part-time staff were hired to work at night to improve things, but the hours have still been cut at border crossings. So this changes absolutely nothing. Furthermore, there will be over $140 million in budget cuts to border services. In Quebec alone, 260 border agents received notice that they would lose their jobs, and there were another 1,351 in the rest of Canada. This has yet to happen. When these positions disappear, what happens in the coming years will be catastrophic.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is curious that, over the course of the government's anti-terrorism regime since the occurrence on September 11, outside commentators have pegged the amount of money Canadians have spent at $92 billion.

One wonders how much these new measures are going to cost and why the government has not tabled those numbers.

I would like my colleague to comment on that.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Davenport for his very interesting question.

Once again, this goes back to what the member for Gatineau said earlier. The government must answer these questions and tell us what is going on. It must also tell us why it introduced Bill S-7 in the Senate. Why does it want to change laws that are working very well? Why is it eliminating things that are essential to our security?

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Before we resume debate, I will just let hon. members know that we have had more than five hours' debate since the first round on the bill that is before the House.

Accordingly, all the interventions from this point on will have the maximum of ten minutes for speeches and, of course, the five minutes for questions and comments.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on Bill S-7, which proposes to do a number of things in amending the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act and the Security of Information Act, but I want to focus on just two things that this bill proposes to do, the two that I believe are the most significant. These are the reintroduction of the provisions for investigatory hearings and the reintroduction of preventive detention in national security cases, also known as recognizance with conditions.

Regrettably, Bill S-7 places measures before the House that the House had already wisely sunsetted in February of 2007 during the 39th Parliament by a vote of 159 to 124, a decisive vote. These measures were wisely rejected again by opposition parties when reintroduced by the Conservatives in 2009 in the 40th Parliament. Of course, these two measures were part of the package passed quickly in the aftermath of 9/11 when Canada's new Anti-terrorism Act was adopted by the House of Commons on November 28, 2001, and received royal assent on December 18, 2001, just over two months after the terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York.

Even in that climate of intense fear and even panic over national security, such was the concern about the two measures for investigatory hearings and preventive detention that a sunset clause was inserted so that these provisions would expire in five years. Yes, there was a climate of fear and panic that all of us remember well. I have personal reasons for recalling that day and its aftermath very clearly. My mother was flying from Washington, D.C., to Seattle that day, and a friend of my partner was flying from Boston to New York.

Fortunately, we located my mother safe on the ground in Denver, but my partner had to tell his friend's parents that their son had not been so lucky. He had to tell them we had confirmed their son was on the flight from Boston. He who had been late for everything in his life managed to catch that flight, unfortunately. We had to tell them that his body would never be recovered to be returned home to them in Indonesia as his was the second flight to hit the twin towers that day. My family remembers that day, but as residents of Vancouver Island we also remember that fear and panic can do harm, as well as responding emotionally to these kinds of issues.

Canadian history itself tells us a climate of fear and panic, no matter how real the threat, can all too easily lead to great injustice when governments act too hastily. I want to reflect a bit today on what happened to Japanese Canadians at the outbreak of World War II, action taken in a climate of panic also in the name of national security. I am going to offer my comments on Japanese Canadians as a kind of cautionary tale that relates very directly to the kind of measures we are asked to consider adopting in Bill S-7.

Much of what I will say here is based on the work of Ann Sunahara, her 2005 book titled The Politics of Racism. She has very interesting things to tell us about decision making with regard to the deportation of Japanese Canadians, because she was the first author to have access to government documents from that period after the expiry of the 30-year secrecy rule for these documents. In her book, Sunahara clearly demonstrates that government actions ordering the internment of more than 20,000 Japanese Canadians and the confiscation and sale of their property were based on nothing but fear and panic, often stemming from overt racism and ultimately facilitated by the latent racism against Japanese Canadians present throughout Canada at that time.

Again, it is a cautionary tale when we see members of the Canadian community today, especially Muslim Canadians, often targeted by anti-terrorism measures and the fear and panic that terrorism tends to cause.

Of the 23,000 Japanese Canadians in 1941, less than one-third were Japanese nationals. The rest were either native-born Canadians, some 13,500, or naturalized British subjects, some 3,650. Therefore, two-thirds of Japanese Canadians at that time should have enjoyed exactly the same rights as any other Canadian. Yet even Japanese Canadians born in Canada were denied the right to vote, denied the right to practise most professions and discriminated against in many ways. The so-called gentleman's agreement between Canada and Japan in 1907 had limited immigration from Japan to Canada to 400 per year, and in 1928 that number was revised downward to 150 per year.

Given this climate of latent or overt racism against Japanese Canadians, it is perhaps not all that surprising that after the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in early December 1941, the Canadian cabinet adopted an order in council under the War Measures Act on January 14, 1942, ordering confiscation and sale of the Japanese Canadian fishing fleet and removal from the coast of all male Japanese nationals. Cabinet said explicitly this was for reasons of national security and to prevent sabotage or collaboration with a possible Japanese landing force.

In taking this action, Prime Minister King was following the lead of the United States and giving in to demands from B.C. provincial and federal politicians who continued to demand the removal of all Japanese Canadians from the coast: men, women and children.

On January 23, 1943, as a solution to the problem of how to pay for the internment of Japanese Canadians, and as a way to prevent their eventual return to the coast, the Canadian cabinet passed an order in council, again under the War Measures Act, that granted the custodian of enemy property the right to dispose of Japanese Canadian property in his care without the owner's consent.

What is important about these two things? What is the lesson they have brought today? At that time, cabinet did all of this against the advice of senior public servants and military officers. They did this, according to Sunahara, against the advice of the RCMP commissioner, the deputy minister of defence, the deputy minister of labour, the deputy minister of fisheries and the vice chief of the general staff of the Canadian military.

The actions against the Japanese were opposed, publicly and consistently, only by 28 CCF MPs, the predecessors of the NDP here in the House, to be joined in 1943 by a few Liberal senators after the disposition order was made.

The deportation of Japanese Canadians from the coast is often justified after the fact by selectively pointing to the U.S. experience, citing a similar experience for the removal of Japanese Americans from the U.S. Pacific mainland. However, relying on the U.S. mainland experience ignores the other U.S. experience and the awkward fact that in the U.S. territory of Hawaii there was no legal action taken against Japanese Americans. This is an area in which Japanese Americans were definitely on the front lines in the Pacific war, but where they constituted 32% of the population and so the economic impacts of internment would have been too difficult.

In Canada, at the end of the war, Prime Minister King was eventually forced to admit in the House that not only had not a single Japanese Canadian ever been convicted of sabotage or aiding the enemy, none had ever even been charged with these offences. Yet cabinet still refused to rescind the restrictions imposed by the order in council and did not end the exclusion of Japanese Canadians from the B.C. coast until 1949, again citing national security as the justification.

I have devoted most of my speech today to this dark period and this dark piece of Canadian history, one which took us nearly 40 years to come to terms with. Not until 1988 did Canada officially apologize and offer some compensation both to surviving internees and in the form of support for the National Association of Japanese Canadians. Obviously, this came far too late for most of those who suffered injustice.

In Esquimalt, where I live, we are only now restoring the Takata Gardens, the oldest Japanese gardens in North America, where the Takata family had operated a very successful tea house before being dispossessed for reasons of national security. This is a powerful local reminder to Esquimalt residents that injustice caused by fear and panic has costs for all Canadians, not just those who are the direct victims.

I see the experience of Japanese Canadians in World War II as a cautionary tale for all members in the House as we contemplate Bill S-7, a bill the government insists is necessary for national security. It is a cautionary tale that tells us of the sometimes ugly consequences of letting fear rule over rationality.

The provisions that we are talking about restoring here were never used in the five years they were in place. Some will cite the Air India inquiry where an application to hold an investigatory hearing was approved but challenged in court, and that hearing was ultimately never held as the sunset clause came into effect in the meantime. Therefore, we are left with no concrete example where an investigatory hearing was actually used. Yet in the 10 years since the Anti-terrorism Act was passed, the government has managed to get terrorism convictions for Momin Khawaja, Zakaria Amara, Saad Khalid and Saad Gaya of the so-called Toronto 18.

Therefore, I would ask this. Has our security been more at risk in the last five years since these provisions were allowed to expire? Does the government have any examples to show us when these powers could have been used?

Instead, I look back to the Japanese Canadian experience and we see the obvious contradiction of having fought a war for freedom and democracy and against racism, while at the same time treating a portion of our own citizens so unjustly.

Can we not see now the risk of a new contradiction? In the struggle to protect freedom, human rights and rule of law, we risk trampling the fundamental rights that are the basis of our democratic and legal system: the right to freedom from detention without charge and the right to protection against self-incrimination.

We also risk the unfair treatment of Muslim Canadians. Though perhaps not as severe as the deportation of Japanese Canadians in World War II, this constitutes a potential blot on our human rights record, which I know all in the House would like to avoid.

Let us not repeat the past but rather learn from it. Let us not stampede to trample rights because of our fears for national security. I urge all members of the House to reject the false security offered by Bill S-7 with its all too likely consequences of weakening our rights and the principles that are the foundation of our justice system.

We know that the best response to threats to our national security is to be found in giving resources to law enforcement and security agencies so they can do their jobs, while working within our system of rule of law and respecting those very rights that give meaning to the question for national security.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca will have five minutes for questions and comments when the House next returns to business on this issue, the motion that is before the House.

Rotary ClubsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the good work done by Rotary clubs across our great country.

In my riding, the Mississauga Centre Rotary Club has worked hard to better our community for over 30 years. I have had the pleasure of going to many of its events and seeing first-hand the good work it does for seniors and many charitable causes, and the hard work and dedication of its board members and all volunteers.

Since 1985 Rotary International has put a focus on eradicating polio, a disease that still afflicts too many people and of which too many people are still at risk. Rotary has given over a billion dollars to help this cause, but there is still much to be done. I am pleased with our government's Pennies and More for Polio initiative to match donations to Rotary Canada through CIDA. Funds are also being matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

I hope that with our contribution to this global effort we can finally end polio.

Seniors' OrganizationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am very pleased to congratulate Action centre-ville on its 25th anniversary. Action centre-ville is an organization in my riding that works to combat isolation among seniors by fostering peer support and solidarity.

Seniors are a tremendous asset to our community, not only for what they have contributed in the past, but for everything they continue to contribute, their involvement, their breadth of experience and their knowledge as well. Our seniors play an essential and very active role in our society within their own networks and as volunteers, mentors and activists.

I would therefore like to congratulate the entire Action centre-ville team, which works hard every day to support seniors' involvement and to enable all seniors to keep being the best they can be.

Sunshine Foundation of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, based out of London, Ontario, celebrates its 25th anniversary.

As a national charitable organization, Sunshine has done some pretty special things for some very special kids, Canada's kids. Its goal is to provide a unique dream for children with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. Over these 25 years, thousands of Canada's kids have had their dreams realized because Sunshine cares and Canada cares.

At their recent gala, Sunshine's amazing volunteer, Ginger Metron, received the Wayne C. Dunn spirit of service award. Sunshine also announced the Brian and Heather Semkowski Foundation challenge champion grant, where contributions will be matched dollar for dollar in support of our kids.

Thanks to executive director Nancy Sutherland, president Pat DeMeester and all the staff, board and volunteers who worked so diligently to make this night a success.

This Wednesday, October 24, Sunshine will have a Disney World DreamLift leaving from Halifax, where 80 kids from Canada's eastern provinces will get to realize their dreams. More than 7,000 kids have had their dreams fulfilled over 25 years and we thank Sunshine for making this happen.

Canadian Council on AfricaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the G8 in Kananaskis, Alberta, in 2002 and the importance that this international meeting placed on the future of Africa led to the creation of the Canadian Council on Africa, a non-governmental organization that brings together private companies, universities, colleges and government organizations.

Last week, CCAfrica celebrated its 10th anniversary at a gala with the theme “Looking Forward: the Next Decade”.

The Canadian Council on Africa is celebrating 10 years of facilitating and promoting trade between Canada and Africa. During this time it has led 20 missions to Africa, hosted 40 incoming delegations and organized numerous conferences and seminars about Africa.

Mr. Robert Blackburn, senior vice-president for SNC-Lavalin, was instrumental in creating CCAfrica and became its first chairman.

Soon after that, Lucien Bradet became the president and CEO and is still doing a wonderful job in that role today.

I wish to congratulate CCAfrica on its first decade and offer my best wishes for the next one, as it accompanies the African continent on its progression.

Soldier On ProgramStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I joined the fine people of Russell, Ontario for their inaugural 15-kilometre Volksmarch in support of our Soldier On program.

The Russell Legion Branch 372, Royal Canadian Air Cadets' 5 Cyclone Squadron, and volunteers and walkers from the local fire department and community gathered to enjoy a beautiful fall Sunday morning and to raise money for a worthy cause.

That cause is the men and women who have soldiered around the world on our behalf and, when things have not gone as planned for them personally, they soldier on, sometimes against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Members of Soldier On battle injuries of the body and injuries of the mind and achieve rehabilitation through sport. They are an incredible group of Canadians for whom defeat on any battlefield, military or personal, is simply not an option.

They have conquered the march at Nijmegen, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Paralympic Games, many personal mountains and are currently in Nepal conquering the 6,000-metre Island Peak in the Himalayas.

I want to thank the people of Russell Township and everyone who supports our Solider On program, but most of all I want to thank and salute those who do soldier on and provide inspiration to all Canadians.

Experimental Lakes AreaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the last six months, Canada has witnessed an outpouring of stunned disbelief in the wake of the Conservative decision to de-fund the Experimental Lakes Area.

Nowhere else in the world are whole-lake ecosystem studies done and the long-term effects of experiments monitored on anywhere near the scale or with the path-breaking scientific success of the ELA.

What is the operational cost of the ELA? It is approximately $2 million per year. That is all. To put this in perspective, compare this to the massive subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, which will still be $1.2 billion per year by the end of 2016.

A major mistake has been made but there is still time for the government to recognize and rectify the error. If the government were indeed to change its mind, I would be the very first to stand here and give credit to the government for doing the right thing and for showing that goodwill and good sense are still possible in this Parliament.

Medical Technology IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 10, I was delighted to announce, on behalf of my hon. colleague, the Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario), a $990,000 investment in an Etobicoke Centre-based association, the Canadian MedTech Manufacturers' Alliance.

Anyone in the medical technology industry knows that CMMA and its small and medium-sized business division, MEDEC, has been in the business of strengthening and growing the industry since 1973. This new investment will allow CMMA-MEDEC to continue to deliver results. Funding will help southern Ontario medical technology companies achieve their export development goals and will create an anticipated 30 jobs in our region and more in the future.

Local investment such as this demonstrates that our government's top priority remains the creation of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. We will continue to help our local companies become more innovative, productive and competitive in the global market.

I wish CMMA-MEDEC continued success in this project.

Rotary ClubsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the ongoing efforts of three Rotary Clubs in Barrie for their excellent fundraising work.

The Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia hosted its second annual fall fishing festival during the third week in September. Don Jerry and his fellow Rotarians raised almost $20,000 to support local environmental projects, as well as their Christmas hamper program.

The Kempenfelt Rotary Club held its third annual great Canadian beaver race festival on the last weekend of September. Krista LaRiviere and her Rotary team raised $55,000 for local charities.

The Rotary Club of Barrie's annual Oktoberfest festival was once again a smashing success. The team of co-organizers Adam Attarock Smith and Bruce Shipley raised over $50,000 for local causes, including our hospital's cancer care centre.

I am incredibly happy to report that the spirit of giving is alive and well in the city of Barrie.

Anniversaries of Québec OrganizationsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, this fall, a number of organizations in the riding of Québec are celebrating anniversaries. These organizations play a key role in supporting the well-being of everyone in our communities. Respect, solidarity and helping one other are values that guide our community and that define my riding.

Here are some anniversaries of note: 10 years for Fiducie de la maison de Lauberivière, 15 years for Maison des Jeunes L'antidote, 20 years for Croissance travail, 20 years for Centre Jacques-Cartier, 20 years for Le Pignon Bleu, 25 years for Café rencontre, 25 years for the Centre de crise de Québec, 25 years for the Centre d'interprétation de la vie urbaine in Quebec City, 25 years for Maison Marie-Frédéric, 25 years for Petits Frères des pauvres, 30 years for the Centre des femmes de Québec, 30 years for the Sainte-Monique parish charity fundraiser, 30 years for the Les Accompagnantes collective, 40 years for the Association Québec-France, 50 years for the Centre multiethnique, 75 years for the Société historique de Québec, and 150 years for the Voltigeurs de Québec.

Congratulations to all of these organizations and thank you to all of the volunteers and donors for their many years of service to others.

Anatolian Canadian CommunityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of all members the large number of Turkic Canadians who have come to Parliament Hill today to celebrate the independence of the Republic of Turkey.

The Anatolian Heritage Federation represents 23 member organizations across Canada and will be hosting its first annual reception this evening. Tonight's event will be an opportunity for parliamentarians to experience elements of Turkic culture, such as art, food, music and traditional clothing. It is also an opportunity to learn about the many contributions of this community to Canada.

The federation was established to advance the already healthy dialogue between Canadians and people from the Anatolia region, which includes Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

I urge all parliamentarians to come to the Sheraton Hotel this evening and show their support for the Anatolian Canadian community.

Lincoln AlexanderStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to a cherished Hamiltonian, a man with both the royal jelly and the common touch, the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, who passed away peacefully last Friday.

First elected to the House in 1968, the man we knew simply as Linc became Canada's first black member of Parliament in the then riding of Hamilton West, which would later become my riding of Hamilton Centre.

Regardless of whether he was Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Canada's minister of labour, Honorary Commissioner of the OPP or any of the other positions he would hold, to many of us he was first and foremost a Hamiltonian.

Linc took great pride in our city and our pride in him was equally matched. The evidence is all around Hamilton where people will see his name on street signs, schools, buildings and highways.

I am honoured to have known Linc and to have served with him at Queen's Park.

On behalf of Hamiltonians and the House, I extend our condolences to the Alexander family as we celebrate the life of this remarkable man.

Thanks Linc.

JamaicaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, the Prime Minister is meeting with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, on her first official visit to Canada. The leaders will discuss matters of mutual interest, such as regional security, trade and investment, and multilateral co-operation. They will then meet with Jamaican Diaspora here in Canada.

I am proud to say that this official visit marks the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between our two countries. Canada and Jamaica have built a solid partnership that has lasted for decades, and our relations are based on strong personal ties as well as shared values and roots.

We continue to work together to advance our joint objectives of increasing prosperity, security and democracy in our shared hemisphere.

We are pleased to welcome Prime Minister Simpson Miller to our great country and look forward to continued good relations with our friends and allies in Jamaica.

Harvie Andre and Lincoln AlexanderStatements By Members

October 22nd, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to two distinguished parliamentarians, Harvie Andre and Lincoln Alexander, who passed away recently.

Harvie Andre served with distinction in opposition and government as a member of Parliament from Calgary. I knew him as a committed Conservative, a feisty debater and an extraordinarily hard-working member of Parliament and minister.

Lincoln Alexander was elected to this place in 1968 and resigned his seat in 1981 to chair the Ontario Workers' Compensation Board, then to serve as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of Guelph University. Linc, it is fair to day, was loved by all of us who knew him. Speaking personally, my wife and I have lost a dear friend. I salute his wonderful vitality, his dignity, sense of public service and sense of humour. Ontarians will rightly be paying tribute to him all week before the state funeral in Hamilton on Friday.

In the words of the hymn, “Time like an everlasting stream bears all its sons away”, but let us who are waiting our turn pause to reflect on the loss of such friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, my constituents told me loud and clear that they did not want to pay higher taxes. I was pleased to assure my constituents that our government would not raise taxes. In fact, we have continually lowered taxes.

The NDP's plan, on the other hand, is the stark opposite. It would impose a carbon tax that would raise the price on everything, including gas, groceries and electricity. The NDP members have made their sneaky carbon tax scheme very clear. On page 4 of their platform, it notes in black and white that they will bring in $21 billion in revenues from this tax on carbon.

We believe that Canadians should keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. The NDP actually wants to take $21 billion out of Canadians' pockets. This is simply outrageous.

Will the leader of the NDP enlighten the House on his $21 billion tax scheme? Will he explain why he would like to impose more taxes on Canadians?