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House of Commons Hansard #187 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was indian.

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 Okanagan—Shuswap.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Quebec NationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was the sixth anniversary of the formal recognition of the Quebec nation by the House.

Right up until the last minute, we hoped that the members of the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the NDP would use the anniversary as an opportunity to admit that it is unacceptable that that recognition has not led to any tangible measures.

We hoped, in vain, that the three federalist parties would say how they plan to respect Quebeckers' right to control the social, economic and cultural development of Quebec themselves, to protect their language and to fully choose their own future.

Those three parties will soon have a choice to make. Either they will have to truly recognize the Quebec nation and its inalienable right to self-determination by supporting the repeal of the Clarity Act, or they will have to choose to show that that recognition was nothing more than another attempt to deceive Quebeckers.

Pickering Mayor's GalaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the City of Pickering and the Mayor's Gala committee for another successful fundraising event held on November 24.

The Pickering Mayor's Gala, currently in its eighth year, is a black-tie fundraiser where all of the proceeds go directly back into the community, primarily supporting the Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering hospital and similar local charities.

Since its inception in 2005 the Mayor's Gala has raised approximately $1 million and continues to thrive year after year. Both Mayor Dave Ryan and the gala chair Ms. Diana Hills-Milligan are deserving recipients of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. Together they make a formidable team dedicated to strengthening the communities of Pickering and the Durham region.

I take this opportunity to thank all sponsors, donors and local organizations for their continued support of the community and the city of Pickering, a great place to live and raise a family.

Thunder Bay MultiplexStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the residents, mayor and Thunder Bay city council for deciding to move on to phase 3 of the Thunder Bay multi-purpose events centre project.

The Thunder Bay multiplex will be an important economic development tool for the city. However, before our multiplex can host top-level junior hockey, national curling events, concerts and large-scale conventions, it must be built. Construction and operation of the multiplex will generate $150 million in economic benefits during its construction and $22 million in annual economic benefits to the residents and businesses of the city once it is built.

As it enters phase 3 of the project, the City of Thunder Bay is looking for partners. It sounds like a perfect project for the federal government to partner in. I hope when the request for partnership arrives that the Conservative government will look at the project, see its merits and become a full funding partner in this important and exciting project in northwestern Ontario.

Women's Institute HomeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday, December 1, the world's only Women's Institute Home will celebrate its diamond jubilee anniversary. I am proud to say that this highly respected home for senior women is located in Woodstock in my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac.

I wish to congratulate Marion Briand, who has served as the home's matron for 17 years, as well as the entire network of Women's Institutes in New Brunswick and across Canada for their fine work. More than 60 years ago, WIs throughout New Brunswick raised money to purchase a home and on December 1, 1952, the grand Victorian structure on Chapel Street welcomed its first resident. While originally intended for WI members, the home is now open to senior women. Currently, there are 19 residents and a capacity for 21.

In honour of its diamond jubilee, the Women's Institute Home will hold a high tea this Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., carrying on the Women's Institute tradition of working together for home, community and country.

All of my colleagues and I send best wishes to the home for a successful event. I wish to thank the facility for its past six decades.

Human Rights in ChinaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, China recently announced plans to implement an organ donation system, phasing out the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners or so it says.

This in the wake of ongoing allegations that Chinese officials are harvesting organs from Falun Gong and Falun Dafa prisoners without their consent. This was recently underlined in a report produced by a former Liberal MP, which was based on telephone recordings made by the NGO, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China. The report cites a price list on a Chinese transplant centre's website, which offers corneas for $30,000, kidneys for $62,000, livers for $130,000 and lungs for $170,000. All this despite the fact that China supposedly banned organ trafficking in 2007.

Organ harvesting without consent is wrong and must be stopped. If China is serious about human rights, as it says it is through trade talks, then China must get serious about stopping this barbaric practice or we should stop trade negotiations.

Bill BettridgeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I and the people of Brampton were saddened to learn of the passing of local hero and World War II veteran, Bill “Boots” Bettridge. I have known the Bettridge family my entire life and I offer them my condolences.

Bill will truly be missed in Brampton. He was one of our most decorated veterans and he is the model for the carving of the veteran statue in Gage Park. Bill was a survivor of the D-Day landings in Normandy, part of Operation Overlord. He landed on the shores of France on June 6, 1944 with thousands of young Canadian soldiers charged with liberating Europe from Nazi occupation.

Bill was also a recipient, in 2008, of the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation. He actively promoted veterans' interests in the Royal Canadian Legion and the community. He used his experience and stories to inspire young people to gain a better understanding of veterans.

Bill was a great man who will be missed; missed but not forgotten. Lest we forget.

Harbour View Elementary SchoolStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the pleasure of visiting Ms. Kent's grade 4 class at Harbour View Elementary School in Dartmouth. The students prepared an impressive exhibit inspired by the work and life of Maud Lewis, including building a replica of her home right inside the school.

For more than 30 years, Maud Lewis lived in a one-room shack with no electricity, plumbing or insulation, and yet she produced some of Nova Scotia's most enduring artwork. Maud joyfully painted on every part of that now famous house, turning her entire home into a work of art. In fact, the whole building has been restored and now sits in the Art Galley of Nova Scotia.

Although Maud passed away many years before any of these students were born, her presence was felt in the incredible work the students did. They learned about Maud's life and how she found joy and gratitude for what little she had.

I congratulate the students of Harbour View Elementary, Ms. Kent and the Take Action Society for the incredible work they did.

Korean War VeteransStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to reflect on the courageous efforts Canadians made in the Korean War. This past Remembrance Day, I accompanied six distinguished Canadian Korean War veterans as they returned to Korea, almost 60 years after the armistice was signed in 1953.

I was mesmerized by their tales as they recalled some of their experiences from so long ago. Shanties and bombed out roads have been replaced by high-rise business and residential areas. Modern transit systems, bridges and infrastructure make South Korea one of the most advanced societies in the world today.

We visited the Korean national war museum, which now contains a portrait painted by Ted Zuber, a Korean veteran, the only non-Korean artifact on display. The United Nations cemetery, where many of our fallen soldiers rest, is meticulously maintained. So revered are these heroes that no building can be built that would cast a shadow on those graves.

It was an honour for me to be there with Jim Duncan, Gary Miller, John Bishop, Don Carmichael, Don Dalke and Philip Daniel. They and all Korean war veterans should know how very proud we are of all of them.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Conservative Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, which would use a carbon tax to take money out of the pockets of Canadians, our Conservative government is focused on helping our neighbours save their hard-earned money. Our government will boost the tax-free savings account limit with a $500 increase.

We on this side of the House want to support Canadian families, unlike the NDP that would tax them into debt with a senseless carbon tax. Our economic action plan is clearly working. Over 800,000 net new jobs have been created by our economy. We enjoy the highest credit rating by three independent rating agencies. The IMF and the OECD both project Canada to have the strongest growth in the G7. We have the most stable banking system in the world and the lowest overall tax rate.

My Conservative colleagues and I believe in free trade, lower taxes and support for families. I wish I could say the same about our friends in the NDP who would impose a carbon tax.

HIV-AIDSStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the NDP, we thank the many organizations and individuals whose tireless efforts in Canada and abroad support those living with HIV-AIDS and work to prevent future infections.

The AIDS epidemic has become a global public health challenge that warrants our collective attention and demands our concerted action. Even with advances in medical science, the scarcity of life-saving drugs condemns many to a life of poverty and to dying a preventable death.

It is more important than ever that we support life-saving initiatives to fight AIDS-related deaths. For this reason, I urge my colleagues to vote in favour of Bill C-398 tonight, the medicines for all bill, which would save millions of lives worldwide.

On this solemn but hopeful occasion, we in the NDP recommit to ending the spread of HIV-AIDS at home and abroad and to supporting those who live with HIV-AIDS to ensure their dignity and rights are upheld.

Association for Mineral Exploration British ColumbiaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House that yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia, which has proudly represented the mineral exploration and development business community.

British Columbia is a powerhouse in the mining industry with amazing mineral potential that has helped grow British Columbia's economy throughout its proud history.

Members of the association have discovered significant coal, mineral and metal deposits in Canada and around the world, which have provided British Columbia with high-paying jobs and economic growth. While developing economic opportunities, it has also focused on developing world leading practices in health and safety and environmental stewardship, the foundations of responsible resource development.

I congratulate this association for its important work creating jobs and growth in B.C. and around the world while protecting the environment.

I congratulate the association.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we approach the anniversary of the tragic events of December 6, 1989, I rise today to remind my colleagues that it is important for all of us to have a healthy and egalitarian environment.

Since being elected, I have unfortunately heard misogynistic comments addressed to my female colleagues in all parties. I have also heard unacceptable remarks made in this place, when we should instead be setting the example for all Canadians.

I find it deplorable that, even today, elected members, who are equal in this House, are treated differently by their peers based on their age and gender. I also find it deplorable that, across the country, people are suffering because they are different. Thousands of Canadians are subjected every day to unfair treatment and, in some cases, this results in the senseless loss of life.

This cycle of violence must stop. It has been denounced for years and action is long overdue. It is time to establish, in Parliament and across Canada, a climate of respect to which we are all entitled.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is standing up for Canada's veterans and their families.

Through our innovative veterans transition action plan, we are ensuring that veterans have the support they need to assist them with every aspect of the transition from military to civilian life.

We have taken action to harmonize our disability benefits at Veterans Affairs. With these changes and those being made at DND, our government is investing $1.2 billion into benefits and services for Canada's veterans.

Our 2012 supplementary estimates (B) include $18 million in new spending for veterans services and benefits.

The opposition members claim that they support Canada's veterans. This is their chance to prove it. I hope the opposition will do the right thing and vote in favour of this funding because Canada's veterans and their families deserve no less.

Oil and Gas IndustryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, last month, Atlantic Liberal members and senators visited Fort McMurray, Alberta. Atlantic Canadians are proud of what workers have done over the years in allowing the oil sands to realize its full potential.

Along with a tour of the Syncrude oil and gas operation, we visited the site where former prime minister Jean Chrétien in 1996 signed an agreement with major oil companies and the province that fostered this great development in Alberta. We met with many from the area, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Airport Authority, Keyano College, MLAs and councillors.

We were very appreciative of the warm reception we received from the Albertans but we were very disappointed that the Conservative government was not supportive of their infrastructure demands.

Fort McMurray and the Alberta oil industry play a crucial role in our national economy, generating thousands of jobs for Canadians. We must ensure that all levels of government work together in helping expand that region. The future wealth and prosperity of our country depends on it.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal member for Ottawa South suggested that Albertans do not belong in Parliament, the Liberal leader said that his remarks did not really reflect the views of the Liberal Party. However, we must make no mistake; this is not just one Liberal gone astray.

When asked if Canada would be better off with fewer Albertans in government, the front runner for the Liberal leadership said, “I'm a Liberal, so of course I believe that”.

The anti-Albertan attitude of the Liberal Party has not changed a bit since Pierre Trudeau shackled Alberta with the national energy program that devastated the entire Canadian economy.

Even though the member for Papineau said that Canada belongs to them, Albertans know that it belongs to everyone across the country, every province and every region. That is why we are proud to support our strong national Conservative government made up of MPs from all across the country who stand united in representing our ridings as we build on Canada's legacy of freedom, equality, happiness and prosperity.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

November 28th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, I imagine, if I were a Conservative MP waking up this morning to news about new vehicle emissions standards, I would probably rise in the House and say something like this: The Conservatives are imposing a $36 billion car tax on Canadians. This car tax will increase the price of cars, first by $700, and then by $1,800.

Who would ever be foolish enough to impose a $36 billion car tax on the shoulders of Canadians?

The Conservatives are raising prices on everything. The economy would be lost. All jobs would be lost. Even families would be lost.

Now, if I were a dishonest man, I might rise and say something like that but I am a New Democrat and in the NDP we value honesty. So we will not call this the Conservatives' $36 billion car tax on Canadians. No. We will simply call it like it is: more Conservative hypocrisy and incompetence.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' elitist attitude against Alberta is one of the many reasons their party is losing support among Canadians.

This should come as no surprise. The member for Ottawa South had to resign as senior spokesman for natural resources for telling us to go back to Alberta if we wanted to defend the interests of Albertans.

We also recently learned that a top contender for the leadership of the Liberal Party went on a rant against our province, stating, “Canada is in bad shape right now because Albertans are controlling our community and social democratic agenda. That is not working”.

No matter how many times the Liberal Party tries to re-brand itself, these comments prove what Albertans already know: The Liberals are still the party of the national energy program and continue to disrespect Alberta.

We were told to go home by the Liberals. This is strange advice coming from such a small little corner of our Parliament today, the Liberal Party.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the finance minister said that Canada was “not in need of a contingency plan” to deal with the threats facing our economy. That was quite a surprise because, just two weeks ago, the same finance minister said, “we have contingency plans not only with respect to the fiscal cliff, but with respect to the European situation”. Which is it?

Facing the real threat of another recession, do the Conservatives have a contingency plan or not? Canadians deserve a straight answer.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, of course this government is and will continue to be prudent in our fiscal and economic planning. That is why we have the best fiscal position in the G7. It is why we have the best job creation record among the major developed economies. It is why the OECD says that we will have the best economic growth for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I will tell you about contingencies. If we ever had an NDP government, we would need a contingency for massive, out-of-control spending, at least $56 billion in unbudgeted new spending committed by that party, in part to be financed by a $21 billion carbon tax.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Here is the problem, Mr. Speaker. First thefinance minister claims that he has a contingency plan and then the same finance minister says that he does not need a contingency plan. Now the Conservatives are saying that maybe they do have a contingency plan after all, but they pretend to know something different from the finance minister who claims that he does not need a contingency plan. Canadians deserve better than this. The Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance cannot get their stories straight.

If the contingency plan exists, will they stand up and table it in the House, instead of doing like that minister and trying to avoid the issue?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has once again confirmed that the New Democrats tend not to even read the budget before they decide how they will vote on it. If he were to read the last budget or any of the last five budgets, he would see that there is a line in each one of those budgets for any unexpected emergencies.

This government has planned prudently all along. That is why we paid down $40 billion in federal debt before the global economic downturn. We have reduced taxes to create wealth and new jobs, with over 820,000 net new jobs since the downturn.

However, we know this much. If the NDP ever had its hands on the levers of our economy, Canadians would be drowning in new debt and high taxes.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Europe is experiencing another recession, the American economy is about to hit a budgetary wall and the IMF is saying that Canada's economic growth is already below that of the United States. Canadians have the right to know what is really going on instead of just getting idiotic answers like the one we just heard.

What this government has is a Prime Minister and a Minister of Finance who are contradicting each other, a deficit elimination target that changes twice a week, and a contingency plan that is there one week and gone the next. When will the Conservatives realize that improvising is bad for the economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, this government is always fiscally and economically prudent. That is why we have the best fiscal position in the G7, the best economic growth and the best job creation record, with over 820,000 new jobs since the global recession.

The problem is that the NDP wants to impose new taxes on Canadians, including a $20 billion carbon tax, to subsidize the party's completely reckless spending. We will continue in that direction—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.