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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Kraft Hockeyville 2012Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, on August 21, 2011, the town of Goderich was devastated by an F3 tornado. Since then, the residents have worked hard to rebuild their community. They know what it is like to support each other during difficult times and the spirit of this community is stronger than ever before.

This year Goderich is vying to become Kraft Hockeyville 2012. The hockey tradition in this community runs deep and the enthusiasm that supports young athletes is the heart of this community. For over 60 years, Goderich has played host to Young Canada Week, one of the largest peewee hockey tournaments in Canada, which has featured some of the top players in the NHL, including Wayne Gretzky.

On March 3, the top 15 community finalists will be announced on Hockey Night in Canada. Voting begins in 25 days. I encourage all hon. members and Canadians abroad to help Goderich become Kraft Hockeyville 2012.

ScholarshipsStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Samantha Nash from McCallum, an isolated community with a population of 80 residents, in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's. Samantha is a graduate of St. Peter's All Grade School, with a student population of nine and three teachers who each teach several grades, and where high school students have no choice but to complete the majority of their high school courses online. This requires concentration and commitment.

Upon graduation, Samantha learned her grades had won her two scholarships to study at Memorial University in St. John's, where she is currently in her fourth year of the engineering program. Recently, Samantha was one of only two students from Memorial selected to travel to Ottawa to participate in the 44th Annual Canadian Mineral Processors Conference.

I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing this young woman who has demonstrated that with perseverance and the support of dedicated teachers, students from even the most remote communities and smallest of schools with limited resources can excel in their chosen field.

Vitamin DStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week I introduced Bill C-388, An Act to establish a National Vitamin D Day. In the past decade, abundant research is linking low blood levels of vitamin D with chronic and degenerative diseases, including colorectal and breast cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

Worldwide experts say more than one billion people are at risk. Northern populations are more at risk. Dark-skinned people living in northern climates are even more at risk. Statistics Canada's recent survey of 5,300 Canadians showed nearly two-thirds had insufficient blood levels to protect against serious disease and 1 in 10, or 3, million were so low as to be at risk of bone disease.

Vitamin D is needed to properly absorb calcium and phosphorous, nearly every cell has receptors and it appears to play a role in the function of hundreds of genes. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends a daily supplement. Many cancer experts recommend 3,000 to 4,000 international units. No adverse affects have been reported at 10,000 international units per day.

Wellness promotion and disease prevention are essential for sustainable health care. When it comes to vitamin D, the question for Canadians is, “Are you getting yours?”

The Conservative Government and QuebecStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle NDP Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, is our fine Conservative majority government neglecting Quebec? It would indeed seem that it is, according to its own supporters. In a recent letter to Maclean's magazine, Peter White, who is the president of the Conservative riding association in Brome—Missisquoi, accused the Prime Minister of turning his back on Quebec. Mr. White said that Conservative ministers from Quebec have no influence in Ottawa, and Conservative party workers have had enough. He also said that in the eyes of Quebeckers, no Conservative leader since Diefenbaker has treated them with such indifference.

The Conservative Government and QuebecStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Time!

The Conservative Government and QuebecStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle NDP Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Thank you.

A government that is unable to work on Canadian unity in its own ranks, that sets people from the east, the west, the north and the south against one another, is a government that is not worthy of governing.

Children's Wish FoundationStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the inaugural presentation of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals. Among the recipients was a young constituent of mine, Bryden Hutt, from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

As an infant, Bryden was diagnosed with Omenn syndrome. This is a rare disease that is basically a lack of immune system. He received a lifesaving bone marrow transplant a few years later. Support from the Children's Wish Foundation allowed Bryden to travel to Walt Disney World; a trip he was able to share with his donor, a German boy.

Bryden was so touched by this gift that he dedicated himself to raising money for the foundation so more children could have their own wishes granted. Over the past few years, he has raised $35,000 for the foundation. Thanks to his selfless dedication to others, Bryden has allowed other children to experience the joy of having a dream come true. As the youngest recipient at Monday's ceremony, Bryden Hutt is an inspiration to all of us.

I congratulate Bryden.

Le Carnaval des CompagnonsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, I want to recognize an important cultural contribution made by the francophone community in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming.

This month, Les Compagnons is celebrating their 49th annual winter carnival, from February 3 to February 12. Le Carnaval des Compagnons is the second largest French Canadian carnival in Canada. It draws visitors from across the region to celebrate la Francophonie and experience a truly unique cultural event. The great success of the carnival each year demonstrates the continued strength and spirit of the francophone community in northern Ontario and beyond.

As a member of Parliament, I am proud to represent the organizers of the Carnaval des Compagnons, and I encourage all my colleagues to make the trip to North Bay this week and join in the festivities.

In the words of Les Compagnons, “S'amuser au carnaval, y a pas de mal”.

PensionsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister casually announced cuts to the old age security while in Switzerland. He did not mention it in the last election, and he certainly did not consult Canadians.

People in my community and across this country are worried about the Prime Minister's attack on retirement security. They do not trust the government with their future. First, it wants to gamble away pensions on an insecure pooled investment scheme. Now it is making drastic changes to the OAS.

Why does the Prime Minister not have the decency to ask Canadians what they think?

Seniors have built this country with hard work. They deserve to live with dignity in their retirement. Canadians work hard and play by the rules. The government is shortchanging hard-working Canadians with its reckless dismantling of the OAS so that it can pay for fighter jets, corporate giveaways and prisons.

Canada-China RelationsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority is creating jobs and economic growth. To that end, the Prime Minister, senior cabinet ministers and a delegation made up of Canada's economic leaders have arrived in Beijing.

This trip will focus on deepening trade and economic ties with China, one of the world's largest and fastest growing economies. Increasing ties with China would help lay the foundation for long-term economic growth in Canada.

We recognize the value and the vitality of this important market and are building on recent successes. Under our government, Canada's exports to China have increased by 85%. Thanks to our government having secured approved destination status, the number of Chinese tourists coming to Canada this year has increased by 25%.

Indeed, there are many ties binding our two countries together. We will continue to strengthen our economic relationship with China while standing up for Canadian values, including freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

International DevelopmentStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour and privilege today to recognize the 35th anniversary of CRÉDIL, the Lanaudière Regional Committee for International Development Education, headquartered in Joliette.

Since its inception, CRÉDIL has been working to promote human rights, bring peoples together, and support sustainable, fair development in solidarity with people. Those values are all important to me. To fulfill its mandate, CRÉDIL is active throughout Lanaudière and in various environments, such as schools and community groups.

In addition to promoting international solidarity education, CRÉDIL has another important mandate: to welcome immigrants, particularly refugees, and help them integrate into society. Every year, CRÉDIL welcomes over 70 newcomers and supports over 100 immigrants in their efforts to understand Quebec society and become a part of it.

I would like to thank CRÉDIL for its dedication. I am pleased to salute this organization today.

TorontoStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the opposition members talk, it is our Conservative government that has delivered for Toronto families.

It is our government that put knowledge infrastructure investments into universities and colleges like the University of Toronto, York, Ryerson, George Brown and Humber. We have made major investments in roads, GO Transit, the Toronto Transit Commission and the revitalization of Union Station, supporting commuters and businesses in our largest city. We are there for seniors and persons with disabilities, making major investments in low-income housing.

We are the party that cares about a vibrant, healthy Toronto: Ronald McDonald House, the Hospital for Sick Children, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, the TIFF Bell Lightbox and scores of recreational facilities across the city. We have invested in Toronto's waterfront revitalization and in Pan Am Games infrastructure.

We are the party that lowered the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%. While the NDP and Liberals offer nothing but lip service, our Conservative government is standing up for Toronto families.

Cape Breton Sporting EventsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, over the past week, two Cape Breton high school teams hosted long-standing sporting events.

The Breton Education Centre in New Waterford hosted the 31st annual Coal Bowl Classic basketball tournament that attracts participants from high schools right across the country. I would like to congratulate Three Oaks Senior High School Axemen from Summerside, P.E.I. for their win over the Corner Brook Titans for the title championship.

Also, Riverview High School in Coxheath hosted the 35th annual Red Cup Showcase hockey tournament featuring high school teams from all over Nova Scotia. The host team, Riverview Redmen from my riding, were the tournament champions for the second year in a row. They had a 2-1 overtime victory over Truro's Cobequid Education Centre Cougars.

Both successful events happened with hard work and dedication from staff, students, parents and volunteers.

I rise today to recognize both the Breton Education Centre and Riverview High School on jobs well done.

Member for Ottawa CentreStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today one of the NDP leadership candidates, the member for Ottawa Centre, unveiled his plans to raise taxes and eliminate jobs. Raising personal income taxes is part of his plan to hit Canadian families where it hurts: in their bank accounts.

He said he has “no problem in looking at an increase in personal income tax”. The member for Ottawa Centre also wants to raise taxes for job creators by 30%. This is from an NDP member who wants to lead Canada's official opposition, a party that voted against our cuts to the GST from 7% to 6% and then to 5% and that opposed numerous measures meant to ease the burden on Canadian families.

A measure like this from the NDP is just further proof that that party is a danger to Canadian families and the economy.

Government PrioritiesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, listening to the member for Kitchener Centre one gets the impression that Kitchener does not have a care in the world. In neighbouring London, families are reeling from a jobs crisis caused by the Conservative government. In my hometown of Scarborough, families are struggling to make ends meet because of the Conservative government.

Yet just down the road in Kitchener, the Conservative MP's top priority is reopening the abortion debate. He does not want to talk about Kitchener job losses or old age security. No, his top priority is to take away a woman's right to choose.

These are the priorities of Conservative MPs, not the priorities of Kitchener families. These families deserve a voice that will fight for their jobs, their pensions and their family budget. Well, these families should know even if their MP is asleep at the switch, New Democrats will always have their back.

The Prime Minister says he will not reopen the abortion debate. However, his MPs are doing just that. Either the Prime Minister supports the views of his MPs, or he has lost control of his caucus.

Canada-China RelationsStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's delegation has arrived in China to deepen the trade and economic ties between our two countries.

His trip will strengthen the foundation for long-term economic growth in Canada. Strong economic ties require strong people-to-people ties. To that end, the Prime Minister has announced that Mark Rowswell will serve as Canada's goodwill ambassador to China.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rowswell on both sides of the Pacific. He is a hugely popular performer in China, where he is widely known under his stage name Dashan, or “Big Mountain”. Over the last 20 years this Ontario native has scaled new peaks of popularity as a television host, performer and public speaker.

This appointment highlights the close personal and cultural ties we share with China. It sets the stage for a very positive and productive visit this week.

I wish the Prime Minister and his delegation every success on this trip and know that all hon. members join me in wishing Mr. Rowswell our best in this new role, representing Canada in China.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 7th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in order to pressure the Assad regime, the United States announced on Monday that it was pulling its ambassador out of Damascus. Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy have followed suit. France also just announced that it is recalling its ambassador.

When will Canada recall its ambassador to Syria?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, no country is as concerned about the current human rights abuses in Syria as Canada. That is why we are very disappointed at the decision by China and Russia to veto the Security Council resolution against the Assad regime. That being said, we have already recalled most of our embassy staff from Damascus. We have to maintain a basic presence in order to protect the interests of the Canadians who are there. However, when the time comes, we will—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

PensionsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, New Democrat seniors and pension critics are embarking today on a Canada-wide tour to engage Canadians, young and old, about retirement security. This is necessary because of the Conservatives' threats to roll back old age security. They will not come clean about their plans. They will not say that they will raise admissibility from 65 to 67 years old. People are planning their retirements now, not tomorrow but today. They need to know what is going to hit them.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the government has been absolutely clear that we intend to take action to protect and preserve programs like old age security so that it is there for future generations. The NDP approach, I submit, is irresponsible. It takes no account of the fact that, based on current rules, OAS is destined to grow from 15% to 25% of the federal budget to over $100 billion in expenditures. That money has to come from somewhere, from a shrinking tax base, fewer workers with more beneficiaries. These are facts with which the government must contend in responsibly planning for the long term—

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is fascinating to watch the Conservatives skirt around the questions. It would be much easier if they just came clean. People are planning their retirements now. Many have very tight budgets. Changes to the old age security system will have an impact on their planning.

How can the retirees of tomorrow plan their retirements without complete information? When we will have the information?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, again, we have been clear that those who are currently retired and those retiring soon will not be affected by the changes. However, we must protect the old age security program for future generations like mine. We need a realistic and affordable approach that takes the aging of the population seriously. We are going to take a responsible approach to ensure that there are benefits for current and future retirees.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Maher Arar torture affair and the Afghan detainee debacle taught us the dangers of courting Canadian complicity in the use of torture. However, instead of moving forward, the government is moving Canada backward.

The public safety minister has directed CSIS to use information that has been extracted through torture. As long as there is a market for information derived from torture, torture will exist.

Why is the government getting Canada into the torture business?