This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was investment.

Topics

Public TransitStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Urban Transit Association and its members are in Ottawa today to meet with MPs in order to increase awareness about public transit issues.

I rise here today to congratulate our government on its record and on its efforts to make public transit a key part of our communities. Thanks to a variety of measures and funding sources, our investments have improved all aspects of public transit throughout communities of all sizes. In fact, since 2006, our government has invested over $5 billion in public transit, more than any previous government.

We remain fully committed to working with our partners in order to create a long-term infrastructure plan that meets the needs of Canadians and continues to support economic growth and job creation.

Larry DesjardinsStatements By Members

February 9th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a great Manitoban, a dedicated politician and a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber, Larry Desjardins.

Through a political career that spanned three decades, Larry's legacy helped shape the great province of Manitoba.

As a former NDP cabinet minister and adviser to many NDP premiers, Larry's fingerprints can be found on the country's first publicly funded auto insurance plan, Canada's first universal home care plan, and even the creation of the City of Winnipeg through amalgamation in 1974.

A great athlete and champion of amateur sport, Larry scored stable funding for the province's sports programs.

Most of all, Larry is remembered as a man of principle, courage and conviction.

Premier Greg Selinger called him “a true champion” of Manitoba who left “a profound impact on our community, our province and in many respects, our nation”. He is right.

Our condolences go out to Larry's wife, Mel, and his entire family.

The people of Manitoba will always be grateful for the dedication and service of Larry Desjardins to our province.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government was deeply disappointed to learn that Uganda's parliament will consider a bill that would further criminalize homosexuality and impose draconian punishments simply for being gay.

As Canadians, legislation like this flies in the face of our fundamental core values. We firmly believe it is the role of the state to protect its citizens, to inform them about the irreparable harm that intolerance and hate cause, and to accept those who may be different into their society.

Canada will continue to push this message to those countries which seek to impose these punitive measures.

As the Minister of Foreign Affairs said to the Commonwealth community in the United Kingdom, although we as Canadians are across miles of ocean, we will not plead ignorance to the plight of those who are targeted solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.

VancouverStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to congratulate my city, the City of Vancouver, which last night won the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Sustainable Community Award in the category of planning.

Through its innovative action plan, the City of Vancouver plans to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Fuelled by an inspiring vision to create a healthy and sustainable future for Vancouver, the city has set targets in a number of areas: the economy, greenhouse gases, waste, construction, transportation, air, water and food. This is one of the largest challenges ever taken on by a city in Canada, but this exercise also comes with tremendous economic opportunities.

I offer my sincere congratulations to Vancouver's mayor, councillors, staff and 30,000 sustainable communities volunteers for their dedication to creating a sustainable future for all.

MaldivesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the situation in the Maldives is quite concerning. Canada calls on all parties to remain calm in the wake of this week's rapid political transition.

We are also concerned with the safety of the former president, Mohammed Nashid.

We call upon the new government to ensure the safety of all citizens. We also expect that those responsible for the violence will be brought to swift justice.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, as a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, will give due consideration to calling for that instrument to meet as circumstances in the Maldives may require, and is carefully assessing developments on the ground in that respect.

I know all hon. members join me in expressing hope that all sides will exercise calm and ensure a return to order so that Maldivians can prosper and benefit from freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law for all.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is starting to unravel. On Tuesday, the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound apologized to the House for comparing the long gun registry to Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately, we now know that apology was fake.

In a story printed this morning, the member repeated and firmly defended his Nazi comparison. He told a reporter he only partially retracted his comments and went on to say, “the similarities between the two are very clear and you can’t convince me of otherwise...what I said was the truth”. Canadians know that comparing a political opponent to the man who murdered millions is despicable and offensive to victims of the Holocaust.

With the Prime Minister out of the country less than a week, the wheels are already coming off the Conservative caucus bus. Talking about abortion, capital punishment, torture and now Adolf Hitler are not the priorities of Canadian families.

To quote a true leader's words, “What is going on over there?”

Canada-China RelationsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of 228,000 people who live in Canada's largest riding, Oak Ridges—Markham, I am pleased by what our government has accomplished in China this week.

A key achievement is the three year renewal of the memorandum of understanding related to the Canada-China scholars' exchange program. We know that international learning opportunities are key to increasing understanding of our world.

Over the years, education ties between Canada and China have expanded significantly. For example, in 2010, over 60,000 Chinese students studied in Canada, representing close to 28% of international students and contributing almost $1.9 billion to the Canadian economy.

The agreements signed in the past few days in such a wide range of areas show that we are taking relations to the next level and further strengthening our strategic partnership. This is good news for Canadian students, small and medium-sized businesses, workers and their families.

Rest assured that despite the NDP opposition, our government is focused on pursuing opportunities for Canadian exporters—

Canada-China RelationsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Oral Questions.

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no compromising when it comes to torture. Either we are for it or we are against it. The government says that it does not employ torture, but it is okay if others do so. The Conservatives would use information obtained at any cost. The Conservatives cannot ignore international conventions. The government is not above the laws of Canada. The law is the law.

Where is this government's respect for Canadian law?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government has always obeyed the law, and our position is very clear: Canada does not condone the use of torture and does not engage in this practice. That is clear. CSIS and its employees are subject to Canadian law. That continues to be our government's position.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not the message Canadians are getting.

Yesterday, the Minister of National Defence acted irresponsibly by suggesting that the Air Canada Centre was a prime target for terrorists. Then the Minister of Public Safety soon followed with his own hypothetical scenarios about planes full of Newfoundlanders being blown up. All of that to back up the government's irresponsible message to other countries that Canada is in the market for information based on torture.

The government should oppose torture, no question about it. When will it rescind the directive?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear again, Canada does not condone torture and does not use torture. However, Canada will use information to save lives.

Let us talk about logic. Yesterday, the NDP justice critic stood outside the House and basically accepted the position of the government. Then he came back inside the House and tried to suggest some other high-handed position. That is something that confuses Canadians.

Our position is clear. Our position sends a strong message to those working in the defence and security sector and to our allies.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not a message from Canadians. That is not where we are at. The Conservatives have lost their way on this point.

The government is now saying that torture is okay. So much for being the law and order government. In this case it may as well torture people right here in Canada by the message its sending out.

Then yesterday, or the day before, the Minister of Justice was out publicly advocating for people to shoot warning shots. We heard that prisoners should hang themselves. We heard that from the Conservatives. People should shoot from the hip. Torture is okay. Those are the messages we are getting. This is not the wild west; this is Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what a litany of misinformation and convoluted facts. The NDP justice critic's words yesterday were so twisted it would take a troop of boy scouts to try to figure out all the knots that he tied himself into.

The reality is Canadians know exactly where the government stands, so do our defence and security officials. That is what is important. That rhetoric coming from the member opposite is not helping to keep Canadians safe in Canada.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Royal Bank of Canada, Canadians have less and less confidence in the current economy and thus they have less and less confidence in this government's policies. The Conservatives want to hit Canadians where it hurts: old age security. Meanwhile, they are giving away $3 billion in tax gifts—money that could be used to pay old age security benefits to 462,000 seniors.

Rather than causing people anxiety, will the Conservatives finally answer our question? Will they or will they not increase the retirement age?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are ensuring that our old age security system is here for our current retirees and for future generations. It is very important to protect these benefits. That is why we have to act now to protect our future.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the government's own actuarial tables tell him the Conservatives are wrong, that what they need to do is continue to reinforce the pension system, not take it away from Canadians.

The Prime Minister made a promise to preserve OAS in 2005. At the time, he said that the Liberals had a hidden agenda to raise the retirement age. As the Conservative election leaflets said, “There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept”.

Why did the Prime Minister break his promise and why is he betraying Canadian seniors?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister is doing is protecting our seniors and retirees by protecting and ensuring the viability of the old age security program. If we do nothing, as the opposition suggests, the cost of the old age security program will be too high for the number of workers who will make up the labour force and who will be paying taxes at that time.

We must protect people, and that is what we are doing.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Guelph, in 2005, the Prime Minister was very explicit. When he was campaigning, he said:

My government will fully preserve the Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Canada Pension Plan and all projected future increases to these programs.

Now it was also the same speech in which he promised solemnly that he would not tax income trusts. We know what happened to that promise.

How can the Conservatives stand in their places today and pretend that the Prime Minister of Canada did not specifically promise to do exactly the opposite of what he said to the people of Switzerland in Davos?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there he is again on his high dudgeon, trying to hold himself out as some kind of an economic expert.

Our government has started a reasonable debate on an issue that has very serious consequences for the future of our country and for seniors. We are talking about how to preserve and sustain old age security well into the future for the current seniors and those who may need this in the future. That is what is taking place here.

Old age security will be unsustainable on the future path we are on. Many independent experts have said this. The Parliamentary Budget Officer is not—

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what the Minister of National Defence is saying is exactly the opposite of what the Parliamentary Budget Officer said about the issue of sustainability.

However, one question the government cannot avoid is in regards to its duplicity and that of the Conservative Party. We are talking about out-and-out duplicity. The Conservatives said the exact opposite during the election campaign. In an election campaign, the Conservatives are prepared to promise all sorts of things, and when they form a government, they follow the practice of the Reform Party. That is this government's true record, a record of reactions—

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member is always in a chameleon position, depending upon the issue or the party of the day.

We do know that ignoring this problem is a dangerous path to follow. Everyone agrees with this. In fact, when people look at an independent source, the director of the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management, they have to make changes. We cannot put our heads in the sand. Proposals should include looking at raising retirement age.

The member opposite is burying his head in the sand when it comes to the economy, the same way he did when he was premier of Ontario.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am trying to get the Minister of Justice, in this instance, to clarify the comments he made yesterday in committee about the appropriate use of force when people go on one's property.

The Minister of Justice stated that, in his opinion, when faced with a hypothetical, he thought it would be okay for a property owner to shoot a few warning shots in the air or perhaps even over the head of the perpetrator.

I would like to ask the minister this very simple question. What is he going to say to the family of the little girl crossing the road down the street when somebody fires a warning shot at somebody entering his or her property? Does he not understand the danger of promoting vigilante justice in our society?