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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Swan Lake First NationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to congratulate Swan Lake First Nation located in my riding of Portage—Lisgar.

Earlier this week, Swan Lake won the gold award in the municipal services category, beating municipalities from across Canada. These awards are distributed by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and Deloitte. This award recognizes the community's initiative and success in overcoming significant levels of debt to become one of Manitoba's most successful first nations and one of Canada's most economically dynamic aboriginal communities.

In addition to getting out of its debt, it has renovated nearly every house and the band has helped to build a new health centre, band office and school. The band is currently working on building a wind farm on the reserve.

The success of Swan Lake demonstrates what can happen when first nations engage in strong leadership, accountable governance and responsible financial management.

I sincerely congratulate the Swan Lake First Nation.

The Vancouver SunStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 12, 100 years ago, The Vancouver Sun wrote out its first edition. It has been delivering the news to British Columbians ever since.

Founders, “Black Jack” McConnell and Robert Ford, both Liberals, ran their paper to never “adversely criticize, condemn, or oppose in sprit” the Liberal Party and to counter The Province, a Vancouver Tory newspaper in those days.

The Vancouver Sun evolved, providing British Columbians with intelligent, informative, often controversial but never bland reporting from iconic journalists like Jack Wasserman, Al Fotheringham and Marjorie Nichols.

The Vancouver Sun was one of the first newspapers in Canada to give women hard news to cover and there are tales of female reporters packing guns in their purses as they covered organized crime and the docks in the old days. I do not think Kim Bolan, Barbara Yaffe or Daphne Brahaman do that anymore, though they still do not shy away from the tough stories.

As Stephen Hume, a The Vancouver Sun columnist, wrote:

...a newspaper is, a community having a collective public conversation with and about itself, sometimes an argument, sometimes a commiseration, but always the discourse that is community life.

I congratulate the The Vancouver Sun--

The Vancouver SunStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière.

Hooked on School DaysStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to wear this green and white ribbon in honour of Quebec's Hooked on School Days from February 13 to 17.

I want to acknowledge all young adults and students who have the courage and determination to go back to school or upgrade their education.

I would also like to acknowledge and congratulate Catherine Jasmin, a young woman who dropped out at 14 and, later, as a mother of two, decided to pursue her education and go to university.

We know that staying in school is not always easy for young people, who face many challenges at home and at school. Nevertheless, I urge everyone here to take an interest during Hooked on School Days and congratulate our children, our friends or even an adult. People who are proud of themselves and have big dreams make our society better and more dynamic.

Government PrioritiesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to more than 12,000 people from the riding of Saint-Maurice—Champlain during an interactive public meeting. I was with my colleague, the hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé, and the Leader of the Opposition.

The people of Saint-Maurice—Champlain had a very clear message for the Prime Minister: the government is on the wrong track. It is on the wrong track with its attacks against old age security, which families depend on, and it is on the wrong track with its determination to buy fighter jets that do not meet our needs. The list of bad decisions is so long that I will stop there.

The people of Saint-Maurice—Champlain are more determined than ever to get rid of this government that has turned its back on families. They are more determined than ever to elect an NDP government that takes the interests of Quebec to heart. The NDP will continue to fight every day for families that are being abandoned by this government in the riding of Saint-Maurice—Champlain and in every riding in the country. Together, we will beat this government.

West Bank TragedyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very saddened to report that tragically today in the West Bank a school bus carrying up to 50 children as young as four years old overturned and burst into flames. More than 40 children have been injured and there are fears that at least 8 children may have been killed.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those children. On behalf of all members of the House, we offer our hope for a full and speedy recovery to the families of those injured in this tragic incident.

In the face of tragedy such as this, people rise beyond their differences for the common cause of humanity. We commend the sincere gestures made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

We stand united with those affected during this most difficult time and we wish them solace in the face of grief.

PensionsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, people are worried about their retirement. They are planning their retirement now. Will there be changes to the old age security program?

Canadians are really worried about their retirement. They need to know now. Will the age of eligibility for OAS be increased to 67? Is it happening or not, yes or no?

PensionsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear that it is not contemplating any changes for those who are retired or those nearing retirement. At the same time, we have also been clear that we are concerned about the long-term sustainability of old age security, and we are looking to take action to ensure that for future generations.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, talking of broken promises, it is disappointing to see the Conservatives break their word on refugees as well.

During the minority, government and the opposition worked together and came up with a balanced bill on refugee reform. That is what Canadians wanted us to do, work together and do the right thing. Why destroy all the good non-partisan work that was done on refugee reform?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree at all with what the Leader of the NDP has said. Canadians expect us to maintain a just and generous refugee determination system, which we have, but one also that is not subject to abuse, where we do not see, and continue to see, thousands of people coming from safe democratic countries making refugee claims in this country. That is not acceptable to Canadians.

Some changes were made in the last Parliament that have been helpful, but are clearly not sufficient to deal with this issue. The government is prepared to ensure that we act on the wishes of Canadians.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, at the time, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism was singing a different tune. He said, “There is a remarkable spirit of co-operation around this bill. It is amazing to see that a consensus could be reached on such a sensitive issue by all the parties in the House with their divergent views.” That is what the government was saying at the time. The minister was right: we did improve the refugee system.

Why undo this good work? Why change something that is working? Why be so shamelessly partisan and renege on the consensus reached with regard to refugees?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, Canada has the fairest and most generous refugee system in the world. It is essential to maintain that system and take the measures necessary to put an end to the abuse of that system. Some changes were made in the last Parliament but there are still thousands of people from safe, democratic countries who are claiming refugee status in Canada. This is unacceptable to Quebeckers and Canadians, and we are going to change it.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, to accuse someone of supporting child pornography is just vile. The minister needs to take responsibility for his comments.

Here is one quote, “I think this bill is too intrusive. There's a lot of concern across the country”. Who said that? The member for New Brunswick Southwest.

So now are Conservative MPs on the side of child pornographers? If not, will the minister stand and apologize to the child victims for using them as political cover to push a bill that even the Conservative backbench would not support, for crying out loud?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I will not apologize for ensuring that victims of crime, especially children, are protected, and that is what we are going to do. Canada's laws do not adequately protect Canadians from online exploitation. We want to update our laws while striking the right balance between combatting crime and protecting privacy.

Let me be very clear. Police officers will not be able to read emails or view web activity unless they obtain a warrant by a judge.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, here is a good quote to help him, “This is going to be a gold mine for the hackers and the real bad guys”. Who said that? The Ontario privacy commissioner because she is opposed to his bill that will force every telecom, telephone, Internet, wireless provider to create these elaborate spy backdoors so they can snoop on law-abiding citizens.

Will he strike these provisions that will treat ordinary citizens as criminals, or will he continue to side with the hackers and the snoopers? Will he change that provision, yes or no?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, police officers will not be able to read emails or view web activity unless they obtain a warrant issued by a judge.

I will continue to stand by the Ontario attorney general, the NDP Nova Scotia attorney general and the NDP Manitoba attorney general. Every attorney general in the country supports the bill.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government confessed it was wrong to try to track without warrant every use of email, cellphones and the Internet, but Canadians will be forgiven if they do not trust the government.

Would the Prime Minister guarantee today that he will refer the subject matter of Bill C-30 to a parliamentary committee for full reconsideration, without the limitations of Standing Order 73(1), without time allocation or closure and without secret proceedings behind closed doors? Will the Prime Minister commit to that transparency?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to hear the Prime Minister state yesterday that he wanted this legislation sent directly to committee for full examination on the best way to protect all Canadians from online crime and online predators.

It is important to remember, in the context of that referral, that amendments can be considered, and will be considered, by the committee, whether they are within the scope of the legislation or outside the scope of the legislation. It is a very broad referral.

National DefenceOral Questions

February 16th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is reneging already.

On another matter of transparency, or the lack of it, the government's position on F-35 fighter jets is imploding. There are now only two possibilities: either the government will completely blow through its budget for fighter jets, or it will fail to get the minimum number the air force needs.

I have simple questions for the Prime Minister. How many planes will he buy? At what price per plane? When will Canada take delivery? How many, how much and when?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what is imploding is the credibility of the member opposite's party. It was the Liberal Party that entered Canada into the program. It is a good program that has gone on for a number of years.

We are obviously working to give the Royal Canadian Air Force the best possible aircraft on the market. Only fifth generation aircraft will be available to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Unlike the NDP, the Liberal Party does believe in a well-equipped Canadian air force.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, we already know the many reasons for the delays in developing the F-35. But now we have learned that Chinese spies gained access to secret documents, compromising some security features of this aircraft. We now have reason to believe that anyone in China with a laptop has more information about the development of the F-35 than the Conservative government.

Was the government aware of this breach of the integrity of the F-35 program?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not think those members would know more about the aircraft than member countries like Canada when it comes to this fighter aircraft.

What we do know is the current fleet of F-18s will need to be replaced around 2020 or in that range. For that reason, it makes perfect sense. It is prudent planning, to prepare to replace that aircraft. We have set a budget aside, as the Prime Minister has mentioned a number of times. The Royal Canadian Air Force will live within that budget.

Unlike other parties, we intend to ensure the long-term viability of the Canadian air force when it comes to the fighter aircraft we need to protect our country, the continent and international missions.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, day after day, I find it hard to believe that the minister is capable of giving that kind of response with a straight face.

It is time for the government to be transparent with Canadians regarding the implications of the government bill on surveillance. This bill means that police officers and even the Commissioner of Competition will have access to Canadians' personal information at any time and for any reason. The Prime Minister admitted that this bill has a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed.

Will the government commit to withdrawing the foolish provisions concerning warrantless access that its own members have trouble accepting?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is difficult for me to understand which provisions those members consider troublesome, given that they have never once identified accurately any provisions in terms of what is actually in the bill.

That party's member went to the technical briefing, stayed three minutes and then went out and read a prepared statement, without even listening at all to the technical briefing.

What we are prepared to do with the opposition, when this matter is referred after first reading, before second reading, is to consider the bill, hear from the experts as to why the law is needed and consider matters accordingly.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have trouble believing a government that, to date, has accepted so few amendments to the bills studied in committee. I have even more difficulty believing an irresponsible government that dismantles the firearms registry in the name of privacy rights on the very same day that it introduces a bill enabling police officers to spy on law-abiding Canadians as if they were criminals. It is clear that this government is refusing to stand up for the rights of victims of gun related crimes. The government is ignoring the warnings of police chiefs and the families of victims. And, now, it is ignoring the provinces that wish to keep the data.

Will the government preserve the data in the registry until a final decision is made concerning the court challenge—