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House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nation.

Topics

National Child DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day. On November 20 of every year, we commemorate and celebrate Canada’s signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

With its 193 signatory states, it is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, proof that the problems of children transcend political opportunism. Many of those countries have implemented the Convention on the Rights of the Child with the aid of a commissioner for children, and nine of Canada's 10 provinces have advocates for children and youth.

On December 5, I hope that members of all sides of the House agree on the importance of putting our children ahead of our politics and vote for Bill C-420. With this, we can continue working toward establishing a federal commissioner for children and young people in Canada, making Canada a global beacon for children's rights.

Horticulture IndustryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month I had the pleasure of making an announcement in Beamsville, Ontario, calling for new funding for the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. This investment includes $382,000 to cultivate new international market opportunities, as well as to invest in biocontrol research. This promising announcement reaffirms the government's commitment to the Canadian horticulture industry and the small and mid-size businesses it supports.

The funding will be spent on a number of projects and initiatives to increase innovation and boost profits. One of the investments will assist the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance in developing innovative strategies for the flower, nursery and landscape sectors.

A second project with the Vineland Centre is to develop an innovative grape-drying process that concentrates flavours. This innovative process will help Canadian growers and processors break into new wine markets and strengthen Canada's wine industry. These projects will advance the productivity, profitability and competition of the Canadian horticultural industry.

This is one more example of our government's commitment to the horticulture sector, small and mid-size businesses, and the positive impact it is making on businesses and on the lives of Canadians.

Honoré-MercierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Paulina Ayala NDP Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with many people in my riding.

How can I forget the wonderful bowling fundraiser for those in need hosted by the Association Marie-Reine d'Anjou? In Rivière-des-Prairies, I met with two youth organizations. The first meeting was held as part of the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi's anniversary and the second took place at the Maison des jeunes de Rivière-des-Prairies.

I would like to thank the workers, parents and teachers for their work and for making young people their focus. These adults listen to young people and use their life experience to show young people that they can make their dreams come true.

However, reality is not always easy to deal with. The director of the Centre de la famille haïtienne et interculturel de Rivière-des-Prairies is well aware of this fact. This year, she lost one of her staff members as a result of budget cuts, something we are all familiar with. She shared with us her concerns about the deterioration of the services for newcomers and their families.

The work being done by the Table des élus de l'Est is thus more important than ever. We represent all parties at all levels of government. Together, we are trying to find ways to solve the problems facing eastern Montreal. We met last week.

Carbon TaxStatements By Members

November 20th, 2012 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is proposing a carbon tax that would cost $21 billion. President Obama rejects a carbon tax. White House press secretary, Jay Carney, rejects a carbon tax. The Fort St. John & District Chamber of Commerce rejects a carbon tax. The BC Grain Producers Association rejects a carbon tax. The Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce rejects a carbon tax. The BC Fruit Growers' Association rejects a carbon tax. Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform rejects a carbon tax. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation rejects a carbon tax.

A carbon tax kills jobs. A carbon tax kills investment. A carbon tax kills growth. Reject the NDP carbon tax.

Retirement CongratulationsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate a great Edmontonian who has served our city and raised Edmonton's national and international presence by leaps and bounds over the past two decades.

Mr. Martin Salloum has served for 18 years as president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and has announced that he will leaving this position, unfortunately, in March 2013.

During his time as president of the chamber, Martin has transformed the organization from a struggling association to what is today the largest chamber in the country. The Edmonton chamber is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and influential business organizations in Canada. He has served over 30 years promoting business and working with chambers at both the municipal and provincial level in Alberta.

Martin is in Ottawa today as part of the Edmonton Chamber's EEDC annual delegation to Parliament Hill. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of all my colleagues, especially those from Edmonton, to thank Martin for his 18 years of vision and leadership for the city of Edmonton. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Transgender Day of RemembranceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize November 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance. People in communities across Canada and around the world will gather today to remember victims of transphobic violence and to dedicate themselves to working to end discrimination against transgender, transsexual and gender variant people.

Last year, more than 265 transpeople were murdered and countless others were victims of violence and discrimination. Not only are transCanadians more likely to be victims of hate crimes, those hate crimes are more than twice as likely to be violent. This year, the list of those murdered includes the tragic loss of January Marie Lapuz, a transwoman in B.C.

However, in Canada, we are beginning to turn this tide. Consideration of Bill C-279, which would protect transgender rights in Canada, begins in the justice committee today. As well, legislation was just introduced this morning in the Nova Scotia legislature that will add Nova Scotia to the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Manitoba as jurisdictions where transrights are explicitly protected. We should all be proud to see Canada assuming a leadership role on this issue of equal rights.

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance let us continue to make progress in ensuring that in Canada transrights are human rights.

Wedding Anniversary CongratulationsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I invite members to unite in one voice to offer best wishes and the heartiest of congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on their 65th wedding anniversary. I wish them long life and continued happiness.

As they celebrate their life together, may they know that they are held warmly in the hearts of Canadians across this land.

Trans Day of RemembranceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, November 20, is the Trans Day of Remembrance when transgender and transsexual people, and their supporters, gather to commemorate the victims of transphobic violence. It is important to remember that trans people are subject to much more discrimination than the rest of the population.

In the case of young trans people, the numbers are staggering. According to a recent study by Egale, 74% of trans students say they are harassed because of their gender expression, and 47% of them were physically attacked.

I truly hope that, as a society, we become more tolerant towards one another, look beyond our differences and accept others for who they really are. Resorting to violence, whether physical or psychological, is unacceptable. We are not animals. We must treat our fellow men with kindness, not hatred.

It is very appropriate that this week we will be voting on my national bullying prevention strategy. Neither adults nor children should engage in bullying, regardless of their victim's difference.

I hope my colleagues in the House will think about that when they vote.

Figure SkatingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in March 2013, all eyes will be on London, Ontario, as we welcome the world's best figure skaters at Budweiser Gardens located in my riding of London North Centre.

The World Figure Skating Championships will bring together top figure skaters from around the world to compete for the world championships and, with that, comes a boost to London's economy.

Our government is the single largest contributor to sport in this country and is proud to support and host international sporting events in Canada as they leave long-lasting economic sport and infrastructure legacies for Canadians.

Who could forget Joannie Rochette's inspirational bronze medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, or London's very own Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's gold medal winning performance, or Patrick Chan's consistent brilliance on the ice earning him two world championships?

I have no doubt that these Canadian icons will once again make us proud at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. I am proud of my city of London and encourage everyone to visit our city to watch this great event.

Go Canada Go.

Sir Wilfrid LaurierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sir Wilfrid Laurier was born on this day, November 21, 1841. When Sir John A. Macdonald passed away, the most eloquent eulogy came from his political opponent, Sir Wilfrid, who said, “...he was also endowed with those inner, subtle, undefinable graces of soul which win and keep the hearts of men”. We can say that Laurier had these same qualities.

Like Macdonald before him, Laurier was a great prime minister and a great party leader. He cared deeply about the country's nature and identity, and he never let divisive regional, racial, religious or partisan policies prevent him from making difficult decisions.

Laurier's eloquence will long be remembered. He reminded us that faith is stronger than doubt and love is stronger than hate. His political motto was always “Canada first, Canada last, Canada always”. A good motto for all of us.

He was, of course, a great Liberal but, above all, he was a fine human being and a passionate Canadian. It is only right that on this occasion we should praise this worthy and famous man.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that the NDP is out of touch with hard-working Canadians. Let us take the 2011 NDP election platform. It proposes a $21 billion carbon tax.

This is merely a suggestion by the leader of the opposition, but perhaps he should try a new strategy such as, for example, put the question to Canadians.

The last time I consulted with my constituents, they did not ask for heavier taxes, fewer jobs or higher prices. In fact, they are asking for the exact opposite.

Instead of listening to their buddies at the Broadbent Institute, perhaps the New Democrats should listen to hard-working Canadians. They may be surprised by what they hear.

I would ask the Leader of the Opposition to put a pin in his reckless policy idea and come back down to earth where hard-working Canadians can tell him, no carbon tax.

No carbon tax.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives came to power, they showered their rich corporate friends with tax cuts. As a result of these favours, last year, these businesses paid the same amount in taxes as they paid six years ago.

But what about Canadians, the people the government is supposed to be working for? Last year, my constituents paid $8 billion in service charges. That is $2 billion more than in 2005.

Over the past four years, their tax contributions to government revenues have increased by $40 billion. The Conservatives told us that their policies would create wealth, but if that is truly the case, who is benefiting? The reality is that six years later, people are more in debt.

The personal debt rate has reached record highs because salaries have not increased and good jobs are hard to come by. The Conservatives could try to restore a balance to encourage our prosperity, but instead, they are wasting their time making up stories about the NDP.

Frankly, Canadians deserve better, and in 2015 the Conservatives will get what is coming to them.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the House learned yesterday, the NDP and Exxon have aligned in support of the NDP leader's $21 billion carbon tax. Why is Exxon supporting the NDP leader's plan? It is because a carbon tax would allow gas companies like Exxon to charge Canadians more at the pump, 10¢ a litre to be precise.

On this side of the House, we think that Canadians give enough of their hard-earned dollars to government and do not want gas stations and the NDP imposing higher carbon taxes and prices on Canadians. That is why we will continue to fight the Exxon-backed NDP carbon tax.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for generations Canada has been a voice for peace and democracy in the world, but the Prime Minister is abandoning that proud legacy. The Conservatives' new foreign policy plan, crafted in secret, includes no vision for human rights, no vision for peace and security, no vision for aid and international development, no vision for Canada as an even-handed leader on the world stage.

The Prime Minister once said, “I don't think Canadians want us to sell out...our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights....to the almighty dollar”.

Why are Conservatives doing exactly that now?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, the leader of the NDP is quoting a document that is not government policy. In any case, the government's policy when it comes to Canada's international position remains clear. It is a policy based on several pillars: creating prosperity, and not just for Canadians here at home but obviously through international assistance spreading that elsewhere in the world; and as well, promoting peace and security and our democratic values. These are three very important pillars of our foreign policy and our government pursues them in every one of our international relationships.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. Today in the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the city of Goma, tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing violence. Sexual assault has become a weapon of war. Yet the Canada of the Conservatives is not showing any leadership in Africa.

According to the Prime Minister’s new foreign policy, as obtained by the CBC, economic considerations will take precedence over our Canadian values of peace, democracy and human rights.

What are their priorities? Profiting financially from the emerging markets in Africa, despite unspeakable suffering, or promoting democracy and security as prerequisites?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is exactly the opposite. I recently attended the Summit of the Francophonie in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I stated our position concerning the violation of human rights. In that country, I met with representatives of civil society and the opposition to show our support.

We have also announced the creation of programs to support peace and aid measures for vulnerable peoples. These priorities are still very important to the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives simply do not have the right to sacrifice Canada’s historic democratic values in order to make short-term economic gains.

This is what the Prime Minister said in 2006: “I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values, our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights. They don't want to sell that out to the almighty dollar.“

Now his foreign policy statement says exactly the opposite. Why is the Prime Minister trading away our fundamental values for a fistful of dollars?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada’s foreign policy priorities remain the promotion of our prosperity, our democracy and democratic values, as well as peace and security.

Since the NDP is against enhancing prosperity, perhaps it thinks that is a policy of values. We must promote our prosperity and our values at the same time.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Council of the Federation's international economic forum begins this Friday in Halifax.

The governor of the Bank of Canada will be there to talk about the economic outlook for Europe, the United States and Canada. The provincial and territorial premiers will talk about the fiscal gap.

Since the Prime Minister is rarely in the House on Fridays anyway, why does he not go meet with his provincial counterparts?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, of course, meets regularly with the premiers. There have been over 250 meetings and phone calls since 2006. I, of course, meet with the finance ministers regularly. We will have our federal-provincial-territorial finance ministers' meeting later in December, as we usually do. I just finished a lengthy meeting with the minister of finance from Ontario.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the premiers of this country are getting together to discuss, among other things, the economy, but the Prime Minister is refusing to join them.

According to the IMF, we will have fallen behind the U.S. in growth by 2015. Greece's economy is expected to grow faster than ours. Addressing serious problems—

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park has the floor.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, addressing serious problems means engaging in serious discussion. It means give and take. Co-operative federalism means listening to ideas that are not necessarily one's own. Why is the Prime Minister refusing to meet with the premiers?