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House of Commons Hansard #182 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

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 by the hon. member for Halifax West.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Gaza StripStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this time of strife between Israel and Palestine, the Bloc Québécois is calling on the Government of Canada to take a fair, equitable and balanced position in its statements and actions. It is time for this government to stop being provocative and return to the role of a political player that respects international law and human rights.

We would like to reiterate the importance of a permanent end to violence in the Gaza Strip and a return to negotiation and dialogue between the two parties, with the necessary co-operation of the international community.

We hope that with the ceasefire announced this afternoon, the UN resolutions—those regarding the fundamental right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and those calling for the immediate lifting of the blockade and an end to the unlawful colonization—will be honoured and will serve as a basis for dialogue.

I hope the Canadian government will use the truce as an opportunity to take a reasonable position, one that reflects the values of Quebeckers.

World War II VeteranStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a true Canadian hero from my riding.

Sergeant Herb Peppard is a 92-year-old World War II veteran. During the war, he fought in the very distinguished brigade known as the “Devil's Brigade” and, during his service, he served with such valour and distinction that there has been an award named after him called the “Sergeant Herbert Peppard Silver Star”, which is awarded every year to an outstanding young Canadian serviceman.

During the Second World War, Herb was actually wounded in Italy. He was shot in the side and was hospitalized for five months. After returning to duty, he served as a paratrooper in southern France. Now Herb has been hospitalized again. He is at the Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax. I was speaking to him on the phone yesterday. He is doing very well. We know he will recover and be back home by Christmas.

On behalf of all members of Parliament and all Canadians, I thank Herb for his service. We are pulling for him. Keep those home fires burning.

Access to MedicinesStatements By Members

November 21st, 2012 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, tonight we will have the second hour of debate on Bill C-398 before it is referred to a committee.

This bill would help save lives by fighting such illnesses as HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries. It is actively supported by tens of thousands of Canadians.

However, there is misinformation about this bill circulating on the other side of the House.

Bill C-398 would not weaken existing safeguards ensuring medicines are not diverted. The bill would not remove measures to ensure the quality of medicines sent abroad. The bill would not violate Canada's obligation under the WTO.

This bill would save lives. It should not be voted upon on the basis of hearsay and misinformation. If any of my colleagues have questions about the bill, my door is always open to them.

Cliff PilkeyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, my home city of Oshawa lost one of its great community leaders. On Saturday, November 17, at the age of 90, Cliff Pilkey passed away. Mr. Pilkey spent his lifetime trying to make a difference and he has certainly left his mark in Oshawa.

Over the course of his long and distinguished career, he was president of Oshawa's CAW Local 222. He was also president of the Oshawa and District Labour Council from 1957 to 1967 and with the Ontario Federation of Labour from 1976 to 1986. Cliff also served as an Oshawa councillor in the 1960s and 1970s and was the member of the provincial parliament for Oshawa from 1967 to 1971.

For his efforts and hard work, Mr. Pilkey received the Order of Ontario and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

I take this opportunity to honour the life and career of Mr. Pilkey. His memory and legacy have left a mark on Oshawa.

EducationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate a significant milestone in the education of girls in my hometown of Kingston.

The dream of Archbishop MacDonell to establish a school for the education of girls became a reality when three sisters from the congregation of Notre Dame in Montreal arrived in Kingston on this day, November 21, in 1841. Three days later, the sisters received their first pupils and, in time, the Notre Dame Convent School was inaugurated, a school which hundreds of women still proudly call their alma mater.

From Kingston, the sisters expanded their ministry to educate girls in western and Atlantic Canada. After 126 years, Notre Dame Convent School joined with Regiopolis College for Boys to become the current Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School.

Let us honour this milestone of the sisters of the congregation of Notre Dame as they celebrate today 171 years of continuous ministry and education in Kingston, Ontario.

Special OlympicsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of Kyle Couture, an amazing special Olympian. Kyle will be competing in ball hockey at the Pyeongchang Special Olympics in 2013.

Kyle Couture has been involved in the Special Olympics for four years, participating in baseball, soccer and floor hockey. He has competed nationally and provincially and has won both gold and silver medals. During the off-season, he spends his spare time competing in track and field or working in the scorekeeper's box at the local hockey arena. Kyle is an avid hockey fan and cheers for the Edmonton Oilers and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

His goal in Pyeongchang is to win gold on behalf of Canada. On behalf of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, I wish him the greatest success and know he will do proud for Canada.

Civic ActionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the immense pleasure and privilege of meeting many of my constituents in my riding office.

My team and I organized an open house in order to listen to concerned and worried constituents who are trying to understand why this government has it in for them.

One thing was clear: the increase in the number of unemployed workers is affecting the entire Marc-Aurèle-Fortin community.

We also collected donations of food for the food banks in our area, which are needed more than ever during the holidays.

At last count, more than 800,000 Canadians depend on food banks. I would like to thank these organizations that work to bring about change in areas where the Conservative government has decided to do nothing.

I will always stand up for the fair distribution of our wealth and, above all, I will always encourage civic action.

I thank my constituents for giving me the opportunity to be involved.

Coptic Orthodox CommunityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, November 18, I had the privilege to attend the enthronement of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in Egypt. The ceremony took place in St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo and was attended by high-ranking Coptic clerics, political leaders and members of the Coptic Orthodox community.

Following the enthronement, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and I were able to meet with His Holiness Pope Tawadros in his chambers. Pope Tawadros displayed that he is a compassionate, generous and courageous leader. He spoke to us about his knowledge of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Canada and our government's commitment to religious freedom.

Coptic Canadians in Mississauga and across Canada were following the ceremony very closely and I am pleased that we were able to represent them in Egypt at this momentous event.

Our government has shown that we will stand with the Coptic community as it strives for human rights, freedom of religion, democracy and the rule of law.

Shipbuilding IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the tremendous economic benefits the people of British Columbia and, indeed, all Canadians will receive as a result of our government's national shipbuilding procurement strategy.

In North Vancouver, Seaspan Shipyards won the national competition for an $8 billion contract to build non-combat vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. These include offshore science vessels, a polar icebreaker and joint support ships.

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries has estimated that government ship projects would directly and indirectly contribute over $2 billion in annual economic benefit and 15,000 jobs across Canada for the next 30 years. Major federal investments such as this will also help Vancouver shipyards become a world-class centre of excellence.

On October 19, 2012, the groundbreaking ceremony at Seaspan kicked off the start of construction. I look forward to seeing the benefits of our national shipbuilding strategy come to fruition.

Strathcona Community OrganizationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 40th anniversary of two outstanding community organizations in East Vancouver, the Strathcona Community Centre and the Chinese Community Library Services Association, and the 44th anniversary of the Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association. They are the heart and soul of this very historic Strathcona neighbourhood known for its diversity, community spirit and proud history.

The recreational programs and services provided to inner city families and seniors by the Strathcona Community Centre are quite extraordinary. The Chinese library is unique in North America. It preserves Chinese language and culture within the Chinese community and is a source of education and understanding among the many diverse groups in Canada.

SPOTA's hard work to stop freeways in Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood in the 1960s and 1970s has maintained this wonderful community as home for many generations.

I salute these organizations and thank them for the dedicated work they do in making Strathcona a place that all Vancouverites are proud of.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the senior Liberal spokesperson for natural resources made outrageous comments that once again show the Liberals' anti-energy agenda.

Our government strongly condemns the Liberal Party of Canada's comments that say that Alberta MPs do not belong in Parliament and should go home. As an Albertan, I am extremely proud to represent my constituents here in Ottawa and will proudly continue to defend their interests. The opposition fails to understand the facts. Alberta's energy industry is creating jobs and prosperity at home and across the country.

This anti-energy prejudice is the same one the Liberals had when they brought in their disastrous national energy program in the 1980s, a program that damaged the economy and cost Albertans billions. This type of regionally divisive policy and rhetoric from the Liberal Party is unfathomable. Our government will continue to defend Albertans, especially against failed Liberal policies and their east-versus-west ideology.

Members can bet I will be telling my constituents that when I go back to Alberta.

Women and Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, women often hold part-time, temporary or casual jobs. Many women simply do not accumulate enough hours to be entitled to employment insurance benefits. The figures speak for themselves. Only four out of 10 unemployed workers have access to EI, but the figure is just three out of 10 for women. That is unacceptable.

It is clear that the EI reforms for so-called frequent claimants will penalize women in particular. I recently met with representatives of the Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles school board to talk about female workers in my riding—early childhood educators, special education workers, monitors and bus drivers—who are laid off every summer.

The Conservatives must stop going after female workers and come up with a job creation plan that helps combat this instability.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the senior Liberal spokesperson on natural resources, the MP from Ottawa South, attacked Albertans for sending MPs to Ottawa to defend Alberta's interests. He said that if Alberta MPs wanted to defend the interests of their constituents, they should resign and go home.

I stand in this House proud to represent the hard-working residents of Alberta. My constituents work hard, play by the rules and pay their taxes. They deserve to have their voices heard in the House. The Liberal Party may find it offensive to have Alberta's interests defended on the floor of the House of Commons, but Albertans find it offensive when the Liberal Party tries to shut down their voices.

Today, on behalf of Albertans, I call on the Liberal Party to apologize and I call on the Leader of the Liberal Party to fire his natural resources critic.

Roger GuindonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, Father Guindon has left us, but the marks of his time on Earth remain.

Beloved Father Guindon, you transformed the College of Bytown, a humble Catholic academy, into a public institution that has become the largest bilingual university in Canada, specifically mandated to advance the cause of the Franco-Ontarian community.

The people of Ottawa saw the results of his skilful negotiations with successive governments as the University of Ottawa grew and grew to become a major player in medicine, sciences, engineering, law, administration, education, the social sciences and the arts.

Let us not forget the numerous championships garnered by the Gee-Gees, the garnet and grey.

You also played an active role in creating the Fondation franco-ontarienne, which last year celebrated its first quarter century.

Tributes will come from those who, like me, became involved with the student federation and thereby also had the good fortune to work closely with you. That is where I was able to really get to know you, Father Guindon, as a wise, courageous and generous man.

On behalf of all those for whom the University of Ottawa is their alma mater, thank you so much, Roger Guindon, and may you rest in peace.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, Albertans are rightfully appalled by the arrogant comments about Alberta MPs from the MP for Ottawa South, the senior Liberal spokesman on natural resources.

As always, the Liberals fail to understand that Alberta's energy industry is creating jobs and prosperity right across our country. As a proud Albertan and chair of the Alberta caucus, I can unequivocally say that my colleagues and I will continue to stand up and defend the interests of Albertans each and every day we are here in Ottawa.

Albertans are proud of our government's work to promote the energy industry at home and abroad, and what Albertans do not want to see is a return to the devastating past Liberal policies that hurt our economy and cost Albertans billions of dollars. It is simply outrageous that the Liberal member would say that if we want to stand up for Albertans we should go home and run for our provincial legislature.

Our government is proud to defend Alberta's interests, especially against disastrous Liberal policies that have hurt Alberta before, such as Pierre Trudeau's national energy program. As my colleague from Peace River so eloquently stated yesterday, the Liberals have rejected Albertans and that is why Albertans continue to reject the Liberal Party.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives seem to be in love with making things up, so let us add some facts.

Fact: less is being collected in corporate taxes for the past four years than the first year they took power. Fact: for the past four years they have collected more income tax than when they took power. Fact: since they took power, the Conservatives have collected $47 billion in user fees from Canadians.

What is the Conservatives' excuse for their attack on the middle class? It is make-believe policies and fabricated committee records. When the member for Beauce got caught being spoon-fed untrue pabulum, he did not even seem to care. It must be so nice to live in the Conservative land of make-believe, insulated from the problems of the real world and surrounded by puppets. Canadians do not have that luxury.

Instead of making things up, will the next member please tell Canadians why the government is taking money away from middle-class families and giving it to—

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Wild Rose.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, as time passes people learn, grow and change. Unfortunately, even though time has passed, the Liberal Party has not learned a thing. Yesterday, the senior Liberal spokesperson for natural resources said that Albertans should “go back to Alberta” if they want to represent the interests of Albertans and the energy industry. That comment is simply outrageous.

I am proud to stand here and to voice the interests of my constituents. Unfortunately, the Liberals fail to acknowledge that Alberta's energy industry is creating jobs and prosperity right across this country. My constituents remember all too well Pierre Trudeau's failed national energy program that devastated the economy and cost Albertans billions of dollars.

We call upon the member for Ottawa South to do the right thing and resign as he clearly does not stand up for all Canadians. Our government will continue to stand up and defend Alberta's interests, especially since it is clear that no other party in the House will.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives are withholding information from Canadians about cuts to their vital public services. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, 85% of Conservative cuts are aimed directly at front-line services, but the PBO cannot measure the full impact of these cuts because Conservative ministers are hiding key financial data. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has now been forced to take the extraordinary step of asking the Federal Court to intervene.

Why are Conservatives obstructing the very office they created to provide objective financial information to Parliament? What do they have to hide?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Well, of course, nothing, Mr. Speaker. The government has made available to Parliament and to all Canadians all relevant information whenever it is available and we will continue to do so. We created the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer so he could do his non-partisan work and we will continue to supply information for that non-partisan work—

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

FinanceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in his economic update, the Minister of Finance had to admit that he will not be able to eliminate the Conservative deficit by the time he promised. The minister's plan was to balance the budget in 2015, but he will still be in the red to the tune of $8.6 billion. Unexpectedly, the Prime Minister immediately contradicted his minister by stating, despite the evidence, that the budget would definitely be balanced on schedule.

If the Minister of Finance was telling us the truth, why did the Prime Minister contradict him? If he is wrong, how can the Prime Minister explain the fact that his Minister of Finance made an $8.6 billion calculation error?

FinanceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the objective of the government is to bring the budget back into balance during this Parliament. We are going to achieve that objective by controlling expenses and not, as the New Democratic Party proposes, by raising taxes.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently expressed his frustration with the weak economic growth in the United States. However, the International Monetary Fund is reporting that Canada's economic growth is now weaker than that of the U.S.

The Prime Minister needs to realize this and work with the other levels of government here in Canada. In fact, the premiers will be meeting in Halifax this week to discuss Canada's economic problems.

Why is the Prime Minister of Canada refusing to attend the premiers' economic summit in Halifax?