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House of Commons Hansard #158 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cfia.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led today by the hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Oil and Gas IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Independent

Bruce Hyer Independent Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' lack of a coherent energy strategy is hurting Canada. We eastern Canadians are captive to expensive, insecure, imported oil. We pay a lot for gasoline and home heating oil, especially in northwestern Ontario.

Incredibly, there is more than enough oil produced in western Canada to meet all our needs, but it is exported for much less than eastern Canada pays for foreign oil. That price difference is costing our economy $19 billion a year. The Governor of the Bank of Canada said that it was a major drag on our growth.

We must build a new pipeline to bring western petroleum to the east. Instead, the government wants to bulldoze a route through B.C. to ship raw bitumen to Communist China as fast as possible.

It is time for an energy strategy that takes care of our own energy security, creates value-added jobs in Canada and minds the long-term interests of Canada for a change.

ThanksgivingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Conservative Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, to build on the wonderful community spirit in Mississauga—Brampton South, I am hosting my annual fall fair and corn roast. This free event will take place on Sunday, October 14, at Sandford Farm Park from 1 p.m to 3 p.m.

I invite all of my neighbours to visit my website to sign up for the pie baking and the pie eating contest. There will be a chubby-bunny marshmallow contest for younger children, face painting, bouncy castles, and performances by our local Croatian and South Asian dancers. We will also get some great visits from our new hockey team members, the Steelheads. Of course, our dedicated police officers, firefighters and paramedics will let children crawl through their wonderful vehicles.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I invite all of my neighbours to come and join me and, hopefully, this weekend to join us at the food bank where I will be volunteering with my son.

I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Rail ServiceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, in November of this year, VIA Rail service between Halifax and Montreal will be cut from six runs per week to three runs per week. As though that were not enough, now CN is threatening to shut down a 225 km stretch of track between Moncton and Bathurst within the next two years. This decision will have a direct impact on our industries and on the routes offered by VIA Rail.

Canada's railway is essential to economic development, and the government has a duty to protect the public interest and support economic development. The government talks about the economic recovery and development assistance, but what good is that rhetoric if we do not have the infrastructure to encourage industries to move to our regions?

If the government abandons this infrastructure, we can forget about economic development. The federal government cannot just sit back and do nothing, for it is to blame for privatizing CN. The government must act, and quickly.

Natural ResourcesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians benefit from the development of our natural resources. I urge all Canadians to take a step back to examine this issue from a rational point of view.

In today's society, all Canadians use natural resources. Whether it is the gas or electricity in our cars, the sticky notes on the fridge or the Tupperware filled with Thanksgiving leftovers, it all comes from natural resource products.

Practically speaking and in order to function in today's modern society and utilize these resources, we need to develop them. Whether we work in a small town coffee shop or in an office building in downtown Vancouver, natural resources are a part of our daily lives. That is why our government has introduced our plan for responsible resource development. To be clear, only the projects that have been determined to be safe and responsible will proceed. Our rational plan will ensure that we remain good stewards of the environment and our natural resources.

Lakeshore General Hospital AuxiliaryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the honour and the pleasure of attending the 50th anniversary luncheon of the Lakeshore General Hospital Auxiliary.

The auxiliary has been a central supporting pillar of the Lakeshore General since before it opened its doors in 1965.

In addition to organizing fundraising activities for hospital improvements and scholarships for nurses, the women and men in blue coats are a welcome and comforting presence to patients and their families dealing with the stress of tests or treatment.

In a very real sense, auxiliary members are also ambassadors carrying, with or without words, a heartening message to patients, “You are not alone. You are part of a caring community that offers you its support in times of need and personal challenge”.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank auxiliary president Barbara Armbruster, past president Sally Brown, Terry Aitken and all of the other past and present auxiliary members who have helped the Lakeshore fulfill its vocation in our community for half a century.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the honour of attending the Union of British Columbia Municipalities 2012 convention in Victoria where I hosted a reception to celebrate sister city agreements between municipalities in Canada and China.

I shared with delegates our government's vision for deeper trade and cultural relationships for the benefit of Canadians, especially in British Columbia, Canada's gateway to the Asia-Pacific.

I also spoke about the positive investments our government is making in cities both big and small across Canada. These messages were well received.

I congratulate the organizers on this successful event and I encourage all communities to be at the forefront of Canada's future and to forge relationships with Asia-Pacific counterparts as we move into the Pacific century.

I look forward to working with all of my municipal colleagues as together we continue to create jobs, ensure our communities remain strong and secure Canada's long-term economic prosperity.

Economic RecoveryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives pat themselves on the back for their so-called economic policy and job creation, the reality is not so rosy. Their laissez-faire attitude and corporate tax cuts are not producing the desired effect.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada show a loss of 2,277 manufacturing companies in Montreal, which translates into a loss of over 61,700 jobs since the Conservatives came to power. They can add that to their record.

Creating a real industrial recovery policy is vital to Montreal.

Yesterday, my colleague recommended that the Conservatives read Zola's Germinal, but I think that it is too advanced for them. I recommend that they start with something simpler, such as “Economic Recovery for Dummies”.

Gary FosterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week, our region paid its final respects to long-time potato farmer, community and family man, Gary Foster of Moose Mountain, New Brunswick.

Gary was a contract grower for McCain foods for 40 years. He also served on various committees, including the negotiating committee and the national safety net committee. He also was a very recent inductee into the New Brunswick Potato World Hall of Recognition.

Ever the person to lobby on behalf of growers, Gary was always well-informed on the issues and impossible to trip up on the numbers. Gary took great pride in getting things done and, behind the scenes in his very unassuming manner, worked hard for his community.

Gary lived by the Winston Churchill saying, “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give”.

The stories at the Hall of Recognition ceremony and at his funeral recounted his strong work ethic. When people were not quite performing or up to date on their files, well sometimes they just needed a GSU, a general sharpening up, but that was always for their betterment and the people around them.

Gary will certainly be missed by his family, the community and the industry in general. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Dorothy, his children, Al and Kelly, and the entire Foster family.

Concealment of Identity ActStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, about one year ago, I introduced private member's Bill C-309, the concealment of identity act, which would fill a loophole in our country's laws and provide the police with a tool to protect public safety.

However, I recently learned that the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has taken to Twitter to mislead Canadians about this bill. On September 19 she wrote, “If a peaceful event gets out of hand...and it's winter...and you have a scarf on...20 years in jail?”

The member knows full well that this bill is not aimed in any way at lawful protestors and yet, here she is accusing me of trying to throw Frosty the Snowman in the big house.

It is time for this lone Green Party member to depart from her fairy tale lands because police chiefs across the country, including Victoria's own Jamie Graham, are supporting this bill.

When it comes up for third reading, I encourage her to rise from this chamber's 309th seat and vote in favour of Bill C-309.

Charles RoachStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to inform the House of the death of Charles Roach.

As my colleague from Scarborough—Rouge River pointed out yesterday, Charles was a great community leader in Toronto who fought for human rights, social justice and founded the Caribana festival.

Charles passed away last night after a long battle with cancer. Although he is no longer with us, his work for a more just and equal Canada will live on well past today.

Over his 57 years in Canada, Charles proved himself to be an exemplary Canadian citizen in every way but name. Charles wanted very much to become a Canadian citizen but he never received that honour because he wanted to swear his citizenship oath of allegiance to Canada directly rather than to the British Crown.

I ask today that the Government of Canada honour this great man and grant Charles Roach's last wish by awarding him posthumous Canadian citizenship. His commitment and contribution to our great country speaks for itself. This would be our way to thank him.

Army Reserve Recognition DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, across our great nation today, Canadians are celebrating the first Army Reserve Recognition Day. We are paying tribute to the nearly 25,000 men and women who serve in Canada's reserve force.

Our reservists have made outstanding contributions to both international and domestic operations. Canada's army reservists were an integral part of our missions in Afghanistan and the humanitarian relief we brought to Haiti following that disastrous earthquake. They have served Canadians at home assisting with the ravages of fires and floods.

On a personal note, I have watched the reservists in action in Afghanistan and I could not tell the difference between the regular force and the reservists. More importantly, the Taliban could not tell the difference either.

I would like to thank our Canadian army reservists in communities across Canada for their sacrifices and their service to this great country.

HousingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in exactly two weeks, we will have the first hour of debate on my Bill C-400 for a national housing strategy.

This bill does not specifically deal with gender equality. However, all of the reports point out that women are the hardest hit by the housing crisis affecting all of Canada, mainly because more women than men are renters—50% compared to 32%—but also because they are poorer. The average income of male tenants is $33,300 per year compared to $25,800 for women. In Ottawa, the median rent is more than $940 per month. With an income of $25,000 per year, there is not much left over for other basic needs. Moreover, many women are victims of discrimination because their jobs are more precarious or they are single parents. They are turned down or forced to pay rent that is much too high.

Therefore, I invite all my colleagues to vote in favour of Bill C-400 in order to improve the lot of women in Canada.

New Democratic PartyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP still refuses to answer a simple question: does he support a carbon tax?

The facts clearly show that he does. During a 2012 leadership race debate, he said he would raise money by imposing a carbon tax. This plan appears in the policy document. The NDP's platform even sets out in black and white that the party plans to raise $21 billion in revenue by imposing a carbon tax.

We all know that the leader of the NDP has had trouble with numbers in the past. Is it possible that he is confused?

To simplify, will the leader of the NDP clearly tell us whether or not he will impose a carbon tax that would raise the price on everything? Can he explain what he means by the $21 billion in revenue he expects to generate from carbon?

Papal HonoursStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, His Holiness Pope Benedict has bestowed papal honours upon two prominent Canadian pioneers of interfaith dialogue, who will be honoured by the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism this Thursday evening.

The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice cross, also known as the Cross of Honour, will be awarded to Father Irénée Beaubien for his exceptional contributions to the church and to the papacy.

Dr. Victor Goldbloom will be bestowed with the Papal Honour of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr, one of only five orders of knighthood awarded directly by the Pope.

This order recognizes his outstanding devotion and his leadership in promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue and understanding.

Dr. Goldbloom is now part of a small but distinguished group of Canadians to receive such a papal honour.

I know that colleagues would want to join me in congratulating these two outstanding individuals on their most deserving awards, reflecting their exceptional contributions to faith and society, as we salute the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism for its continued excellence in expanding dialogue and understanding.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is leading the way in jobs and economic growth. In fact, since July 2009, Canada has created over 770,000 net new jobs.

Of course, the NDP does not like to hear this good news because it thinks Canada has a disease and that disease is the hundreds of thousands of jobs in Canada's resource industries.

Not to worry, the NDP leader has a prescription: higher taxes. The NDP leader has a plan to impose a new $21 billion job-killing carbon tax that would raise the price of everything.

Canadians already pay enough taxes and do not want to pay more taxes simply because the NDP leader wants them to. Let me say that our government will fight the NDP leader's plan to impose his dangerous job-killing carbon tax on—

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

Conservative Members of ParliamentStatements By Members

October 3rd, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to express my pity for the members opposite. I am being sincere. I look at them and know that it must not be easy to live their working lives.

Every day before question period, they get a new assortment of pathetic stories to instill fear in people. Their obsession with imaginary taxes is a strong contrast to reality, where drivers are paying every day for the Conservative government's inaction. Every day, my Conservative friends robotically recite pathetic lines written by staff of the Prime Minister's Office, employees who are counting down the days before they can become lobbyists or be appointed to the Senate.

But there is a solution. I invite my Conservative friends, and especially the next member to speak, to look up from the Prime Minister's memo and tell us what is really going on in their ridings, talk to us seriously about concerns with respect to service cuts. They have a choice: they can continue to serve as PMO puppets or they can do what they should be doing, which is representing the interests of their constituents. The ball is in their court.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government has a low-tax plan to help create jobs and economic growth across the country. What does the opposition have? It has a plan to raise taxes on everything and kill jobs and economic growth.

The NDP's carbon tax would hurt Canadian families by raising the price of gas, groceries and even their electricity. If those members had their way, the people in my riding of Simcoe—Grey would have to pay more for their Thanksgiving turkey and potatoes by having increased tax on them. This tax would kill jobs by increasing overhead costs on key Canadian industries, like manufacturing, forestry and tourism.

Why will the NDP not admit to this plan? Why will the NDP not come clean and admit it wants to tax everything from gas to groceries?

The proof is already out there. We just need to pick up a copy of the NDP platform to read about the NDP carbon tax in black and white.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, four years ago, 22 Canadians died during the listeriosis crisis. The Minister of Agriculture has not learned from his mistakes. It has been 30 days since the E. coli bacteria was found in XL Foods products, but the Conservatives still cannot guarantee that there is no tainted meat on the market.

How can the Prime Minister say that they have improved the food inspection process when his Minister of Agriculture is overseeing the largest recall of tainted meat in the history of Canada?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, beginning on September 4, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency acted based on the available information. First, it contained the contaminated products and then recently it closed the plant. The agency's position is clear: it will not reopen the plant until it can be declared safe.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is not just one plant Canadians are worried about, it is all of them.

There are not even clear standards for when meat should be discarded if the risk of contamination is too high. No standards. The CFIA's director of meat inspection said yesterday, “we essentially asked people to keep [an] eye and look at it. But there wasn’t a lot of structure about how people went at that”.

Is this the kind of self-regulation that the Conservatives think will actually protect Canadians or are we just waiting for the next disaster?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for these matters. It is a highly regarded agency internationally. From September 4 when it first had information on problems, it responded by containing certain contaminated product and it has been acting on information ever since, up to and including closing the plant.

Yesterday, the NDP members were complaining about the fact that the plant is closed. The position of CFIA is that the plant will remain closed until such time as its operations can be assured to be safe.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, more fairy tales about NDP positions.

Today, two small grocery store chains in B.C.—

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!