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House of Commons Hansard #189 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was terrorism.

Topics

Democratic Republic of CongoStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada is deeply worried by the humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. We strongly condemn the occupation of territory by the M23 rebel group.

We are extremely concerned by the displacement of almost 650,000 civilians since the beginning of the year due to confrontations between armed groups and the military, and by the grave human rights abuses committed by these groups, including systematic and widespread rape and summary executions.

Canada has contributed up to $41.9 million since 2011 to help meet humanitarian needs in the DRC, including $3.75 million since October in response to the worsening conflict. As per the decision made by the regional leaders, M23 troops must complete their withdrawal from Goma. We call on all support to M23 to cease immediately.

Canada continues to call for an end to the violence and for all parties to respect human rights and the protection of civilians.

National Research Council CanadaStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to announce that Canada leads the world with another first.

A few weeks ago the National Research Council of Canada successfully flew the first civilian jet using 100% biofuel derived from Canadian feedstock. Tim Leslie, the NRC pilot who flew the Falcon 20 said, “It is truly inspiring to take this step towards an eco-friendly future!”.

The NRC has been partnering with the Canadian ag-biotechnology firm, Agrisoma Biosciences, and the American research and engineering company, Applied Research Associates, to develop and validate biofuel derived from the carinata plant. This biofuel meets all the specifications of conventional petroleum-based fuel. Even more important, this plant used as the feedstock for biofuel is grown in Canada by Canadian farmers in the arid regions of the southern prairies.

This aviation biofuel initiative was also made possible with the support of the Government of Canada's clean transportation initiatives, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Green Aviation Research—

National Research Council CanadaStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Saint-Lambert.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent months, a series of cases of violence against women have been reported in Montérégie. Some have made headlines, while others have gone unnoticed.

These cases serve to remind us of the challenges that women still face: spousal abuse, sexual harassment, rape, social pressures, and the list goes on. These cases also remind us that prevention and awareness are key.

Last Wednesday, some comedians joined forces to put on a benefit performance to support Tanya St-Arnaud, the young woman from Longueuil whose ex-boyfriend threw acid on her and who has demonstrated so much strength and courage in the face of adversity. As I stand before you today, thousands of Congolese women are also the victims of rape used as a weapon of war, paying the price for an armed conflict that will change their lives forever.

These situations remind us of the importance of constant vigilance. It is an everyday reality, an everyday responsibility and an everyday struggle.

Human TraffickingStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, as Canada and the world marks 16 days of activism against gender violence, a critical concern is human trafficking, a heinous form of modern-day slavery that preys on the most vulnerable, especially women and girls. Canadians are not immune from this terrible crime. The forms of abuse and risk associated with trafficking include physical, sexual and psychological abuse, economic exploitation and abusive working or living conditions.

Our government recently launched a national action plan to combat human trafficking. Eighteen federal departments are working together to combat human trafficking, identify victims and protect our most vulnerable. Our government has also announced a call for proposals through Status of Women Canada to support community action plans that will reduce trafficking of women and girls.

Once again, we are taking real action to improve safety for women and girls across Canada.

Prostate CancerStatements By Members

November 30th, 2012 / 11:10 a.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are very grateful to see the end of November. The men in our lives will finally shave off their moustaches. All through the month they have sacrificed their upper lips to raise everyone's awareness of men's health, a topic that is frequently neglected.

The health of men and women in Canada is not just an individual situation. I am proud that, together, Canadian men and women are showing their solidarity and this year have raised more than $32 million to conquer prostate cancer.

On behalf of my fellow New Democrats, our sincere thanks to all Mo bros and Mo sisters from across the country who have raised awareness about men's health. To remember the ones we have lost to disease, let us work together for the health of all.

With Jack's spirit among us, let us change the face of men's health so we no longer lose the faces of the men we know and love.

UnionsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the postal union has a new idea to improve conditions for mail workers: create a new Palestinian state in South America.

A group of union leaders tried to use a taxpayer fund meant for postal workers to travel to a Brazilian beach town for a radical anti-Israel conference this weekend. Make no mistake, while the mailman is carrying parcels through the snow, his union bosses are making sacrifices of their own. According to the union's memo on the beach town junket, “participation in this trip may require walking for extended distances and sitting or standing for long periods of time”.

Those sunset walks along the beach can be oppressive. Brothers and sisters will unite to show solidarity in applying sunscreen to one another between anti-Israel chants.

Now that Canada Post indicates that it will not fund the trip, will workers have to pay for it through forced union dues? As the union's slogan courageously says, the struggle continues.

Marcel BeaudryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, the mortal remains of Marcel Beaudry will be laid to rest. Thus will end eight decades of a well-lived life, a life that left its mark all around us.

As chairman of the National Capital Commission for 14 years, Marcel did everything in his power to contribute to improving the lives of people in this region and in Canada.

Before Brian Mulroney appointed him to head the NCC in 1992—his term was later extended by Jean Chrétien—Marcel was elected mayor of Hull in 1991. In a short time he forged close, solid links between the two sides of the river running through the nation's capital.

In addition, we must remember that he served on the commission on the political and constitutional future of Quebec as a federalist commissioner. Not only a proud Canadian, Marcel Beaudry was also an experienced businessman and, most importantly, a good father.

We offer our sincere condolences to his brothers and sisters, his children, his 10 grandchildren and his many friends.

Marcel, may your soul rest in peace

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats are on the defensive. They are upset that our government is telling Canadians about their plan for a $21 billion carbon tax. I wish it were not true, but regrettably it is. We only need to flip to page 4 of the 2011 NDP platform. It is right there, in black and white: a proposed tax on carbon that would generate $21 billion off the backs of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Literally everyone would be affected, because the tax would raise the price of everything. It will not matter if people are seniors, veterans or struggling families. Everyone will pay more if they are subjected to this NDP tax regime.

The truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but we on this side of the House will continue to tell Canadians the painful truth about this NDP carbon tax. We on this side of the House will continue with our low-tax plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

EthicsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' record on ethics is looking worse and worse. Fraudulent calls made during the last election, the greatest electoral fraud in Canadian history, the story just keeps getting bigger. Their Minister of Industry has a frequent flyer card with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

One of their senators was named in a public inquiry into corruption for meeting with contractors accused of having Mafia ties. Their Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and his parliamentary secretary got mixed up in fraudulent campaign donation scandals. They appointed Arthur Porter to a sensitive post where he saw all kinds of top secret documents. That same Arthur Porter had the top job at the McGill University Health Centre, a project tainted with corruption allegations.

Guess who the two people arrested in connection with the project gave thousands of dollars to? The Conservatives, of course. If they truly believe in law and order, the Conservatives should start by cleaning up their own backyard.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable that the NDP members continually stand in the House and try to deny their plans for a $21 billion job-killing carbon tax. Why will they not just come clean? We can all see it stated on page 4 of their party platform. It clearly states that the NDP will impose a carbon tax on all Canadians.

My riding of Portage—Lisgar is not buying their denials, nor are the rest of Canadians, especially when we all see that the NDP carbon tax will raise the price of everything for Canadians, including gas, groceries, electricity and the Christmas trees we will be buying over the next few weeks. Everything we purchase will go up because of the NDP carbon tax.

Our government has a low-tax plan for jobs, growth and prosperity. Our plan is working. I can assure the House that all of us on this side of the House will continue to oppose the NDP job-killing carbon tax. We will stand up for jobs, prosperity and success for all Canadians.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, our economic growth is barely 0.6%. Our exports and private sector investments are down. Our real economic growth is three times slower than projected in the economic update. The minister's projections keep changing.

Why not give the Parliamentary Budget Officer the documents he needs to get a better idea of the economic situation?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, in the uncertain global times that we face, our economic situation is actually quite clear. This economy has generated over 820,000 net new jobs since the depths of the recession, 90% of them full-time jobs for the people of Canada.

The experts at the OECD are projecting that Canada will lead the G7 in economic growth, not only this year, not only next year, but for the next 50 years. We are on the right track. We are focused on jobs and growth for the Canadian economy, and that will continue.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, 350,000 more Canadians are unemployed today than before the recession. That is the Conservative record.

Two years ago, Conservatives were forecasting 3% economic growth in 2012, and those projections have already been downgraded to 2.1%. Even that target has been missed every single quarter this year.

We know the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance cannot get their stories straight on deficits and contingency plans. Will the Prime Minister now have to correct the Minister of Finance again, but this time on his economic projections?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, or should know, economic projections are based on private sector forecasts, using the experts in the field. The expertise is in. The Wall Street Journal reported that Canada is “one of the developed world's most stable economies” and said that Canada “outperformed most of its peers in the Group of Seven”.

Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, said, “Canada, a country with one of the strongest financial sectors in the world.... Canada can teach the rest of the world about how to build a stronger, safer financial system”.

That is the way it works. We are on the right track.

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, official CFIA documents surfaced that state:

—ensure that non-Japan eligible carcasses are not inspected for spinal cord/dura-matter, OCD defects and minor ingesta. (Ignore them).

This is an explicit directive from the front-line food inspectors. When faced with these facts, the minister denied that the documents even exist. I have them right here, and I can make copies for him.

With people worried about the food they are putting on their tables, why is this minister cutting funding for food safety?

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, of course there are no such cuts.

I actually have the document in front of me, too. Where the members opposite are very selective and are wilfully misinterpreting the issues, the memo actually goes on to explain how these issues are covered in further stages down the line. What the memo refers to is a specific issue for Japanese market access. The member opposite should know that by now. We have had a number of technical briefings. I would be happy to have one for her, if she would like.

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

We will never support these ridiculous cuts to food safety, and neither should the minister.

For four long years, these directives were followed by inspectors at XL Foods, the same plant that was behind the largest meat recall in Canadian history. All this under the watch of this minister, and he has the audacity to blame us.

The Weatherill report recommended an independent assessment of the CFIA. Why is the minister rejecting our requests for this key assessment?

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question from the member opposite, because it gives me another opportunity to assure Canadians and our exporters around the world that our food is safe.

We continue to have a very robust food safety system in this country. This government has expanded the budgetary capacity of CFIA by some 20% in our short time in office. We have added 700 inspectors to the roll call. We continue to build a robust food safety system in this country, in spite of the NDP voting against every one of those adjustments.

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. CFIA officials and the minister attended committee and downplayed serious food safety issues.

The minister refuses to detail his planned cuts to CFIA, and when faced with the cold, hard truth of the memo, what does he do? He denies everything. Canadians are worried about the food they put on their tables, and the minister is not helping to reassure families. When will he hand the food safety portfolio over to somebody who can fix his mess?

Food SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we attended committee with the president of the CFIA and one its directors of operations. We answered every one of the questions that opposition members had. Maybe they should ask better questions.

However, at the end of the day, it again gives me the opportunity to assure Canadians that the food they buy, all quantities and all types of food that they buy, is safe.

We continue to build a robust food safety system. Our system is noted as superior around the world. Other countries come here to learn from the CFIA and what this government is doing and putting in place when it comes to a robust food safety system.

I wish the NDP would actually help us in that initiative.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the actual facts of how Canadians are being hurt by the government's financial incompetence are compelling. After the government slashed staff at EI processing centres, people are now waiting five weeks for the first payments. Last year, over three-quarters of a million people waited more than 40 days for their first cheques, while 14 million applicants were hung up on.

The debt continues to go up, services to Canadians continue to go down. Why are the most vulnerable Canadians paying the price for the government's fiscal incompetence?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, improvements have been made to employment insurance, and as the minister mentioned at committee just yesterday morning, we have been meeting seasonal norms for EI processing.

Let us be very clear about EI. It was the Liberals who raided the EI account, the $58 billion in EI funds that were intended for EI recipients.

I encourage the members opposite to get on board and help create jobs. On this side of the House, we are standing up for employers and employees. We are not raiding a fund that belongs to them.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is taking 40 days to get a cheque kicked out. Noah did better than that, but we do not have to go back to the Great Flood. We can go back to 2005 when EI recipients were getting their cheques in half the time.

Again, the Conservatives continue to spend money, but the services continue to go down. I would think that would be the definition of fiscal incompetence. How on earth is that possible?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. This government is very focused on making sure that taxpayers' dollars are used appropriately, unlike the Liberals who, when given the opportunity to make sure that EI recipients, employers, and employees would receive the funds put into the EI account, they took that $58 billion to use for other purposes. They took it away from employers and employees.

This government is focused on making sure that employees and employers receive what is in that EI fund. We are focused on making sure that there are good services for Canadians.