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House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

2012 NSERC AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Rosemont--La Petite-Patrie.

Rights of the ChildStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, at least 430 children are detained in Canadian prisons every year. These are children of refugees, children of war, children of famine and violence. Yet what are we offering them? A stay in prison with no education and no psychological support. Why? Because an officer felt that their parent could not appear before the authorities or because that parent could not satisfy the officer as to his or her identity. Is this going to improve? Certainly not.

Bill C-31would lengthen prison sentences for refugee claimants who arrive by boat with a so-called smuggler or, worse still, a group designated directly by the minister. And so dozens more children will be languishing in our prisons.

The Canadian Council for Refugees, an organization in Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, maintains that this incarceration is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.

You can be sure that the NDP will be working hard to mobilize public opinion to ensure that Mr. Harper’s new prison cells never become filled with dozens of children—

Rights of the ChildStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It is important to point out that it is not the practice of the House to use proper names. The names of the ridings or the titles should be used instead.

The hon. member for Mississauga-East—Cooksville has the floor.

BelarusStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the authoritarian regime in Belarus forced the European Union head of delegation and the Polish ambassador to leave the country. In an expression of solidarity, all EU countries responded by withdrawing their own ambassadors and tightening sanctions against the brutal Lukashenka regime. Canada applauds their united stand against tyranny.

Under our Conservative government, Canada has steadfastly stood up for the rights and freedom of the citizens of Belarus. We have condemned the recent fraudulent presidential elections and the ongoing oppression of political dissidents. We have also acted in support of democracy-promotion projects by funding the work of free media such as Belsat which provides independent television programming to the people of Belarus. Yesterday the German foreign minister appropriately called Belarus Europe's last dictatorship. I am proud that Canada will continue to stand up with our European allies in their efforts to bring freedom and democracy to Belarus.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week I had the honour of meeting with the regional president and four local presidents of the Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale in the riding of Montcalm. These women initiate individual and collective analyses relating to the rights and responsibilities of women and engage in activities to promote social change. These women are protecting their hard-won gains and standing up for women and families.

They want to be clear that they practice a social egalitarian feminism whose goal is equal status, freedom of choice and autonomy, to overcome the persistent inequalities in our society. They are calling on all of us in this House to help them, to amend all the legislation that keeps inequality between men and women alive.

These women maintain that every individual plays an important role in society and that enhancing equality between men and women should be made a true societal goal, so that no one is left behind. Let us work together to create a Canada that is more just and more egalitarian.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, improving the water quality on reserve is a top shared priority for our government and first nations leadership across the country.

Since 2006, we have made significant investments in water and waste-water infrastructure and in improving capacity for reporting, monitoring and maintenance of water infrastructure on reserve. However, as the recent independent national assessment showed, adequate legislative protection is essential to the effective monitoring of water quality on reserve.

That is why I am happy to point out that our government is taking concrete action to protect the first nations’ drinking water, by introducing the safe drinking water for first nations bill in the other house.

This legislation represents a vital step toward ensuring that first nations have the same access to safe drinking water as the rest of Canada. This new bill is the product of hard work, collaboration and partnership by all stakeholders. I want to applaud the Alberta Assembly of Treaty Chiefs and the Atlantic Policy Congress for their leadership on this issue.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of a visit to Canada by Israel's prime minister, I would like to acknowledge the important work of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto in partnering with IsraAID, an Israeli humanitarian organization, to help South Sudan fight violence against women.

A group of Israeli experts is travelling to South Sudan today to conduct the first gender-based violence training program for social workers in the world's newest country. The workshop will provide social workers in the Juba region with intensive training on the delivery of social work, gender-based violence and post-trauma assistance in a country where sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence continue to put women and girls at risk. The program is funded primarily by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and, by extension, charitable donations from Toronto's Jewish community. It is an example of the close level of co-operation between Canadians and Israelis on important global issues. I applaud the UJA and IsraAID for this important contribution to nation building and—

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Saint Boniface.

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the last several days the NDP and the Liberals have launched smears against dozens of Conservative MPs and candidates, alleging misleading phone calls in the last election. They do not have any information on which to base their malicious attacks. It is obvious that the Conservative Party of Canada was not involved with the alleged calls in Guelph. If something improper did occur, we expect that those responsible will be held to account.

The Conservative Party of Canada is co-operating with Elections Canada in every respect. The Conservative Party of Canada categorically denies any involvement in any deliberately misleading calls. These are baseless smears brought by sore losers who are unwilling to accept that they lost the election. If the Liberals and the NDP have any information at all, I would ask that they bring it forward to Elections Canada so it can—

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.

Language of Work in QuebecStatements By Members

March 1st, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday this House failed Quebeckers who count on their elected representatives to protect their fundamental right to work in the language of their choice in their own province. The Conservatives voted against our bill, the purpose of which was to protect the French language in enterprises subject to federal regulation in Quebec. That was to be expected, given how little respect they exhibit for francophones. Yesterday, they once again proved that promoting French is of no importance to them. Their phantom puppet committee on French is just a smokescreen.

The Conservatives were not the only ones who turned their backs on Quebeckers yesterday. The Liberals did the same, and even the Bloc members lost their reason for being here. New Democrats are the only ones working for Quebeckers and taking concrete action to protect French. Quebeckers can count on the NDP to protect their French language and stand up for their interests. They can also count on our team to replace the Conservatives and form the next government, a government for all Canadians.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the interim Liberal leader offered an unreserved apology in the House for the anonymous smear directed at the Minister of Public Safety. However moments later he stepped outside the House and changed his position. The Liberal leader said that disgraced Liberal staffer Adam Carroll was a “perfectly nice, hard-working individual” who was upset by some comments. Let us face it, the debate has been soured by some of the things that have been said.

The member for Papineau also offered an apology and said that he in no way endorsed this sort of activity, which is a bit strange given his tweet mere hours after the launch of the vikileaks smear.

Then the Liberal House leader said that even though this party was behind vikileaks30, it was really no big deal since they were all publicly available documents.

It is clear that Adam Carroll did not act alone. Which other Liberals knew about it? When did they know? There is not an ounce of remorse in the Liberal caucus for this sleazy dirty trick. Liberal caucus members need to come clean and answer our questions, and offer an unreserved apology. Canadians deserve no less.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have news for the member for Saint Boniface. The scope of the criminal investigation into electoral fraud has expanded well beyond Guelph. The RCMP is questioning people who worked for RMG in Thunder Bay. The Edmonton court order mentioned calls to Windsor.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister had the nerve to say that the people who received the calls are lying.

Why is the Prime Minister not taking electoral fraud more seriously?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, calls made by the Conservative Party of Canada were legitimate. All of the calls were documented, and those documents have been made available to Elections Canada.

The fact that there were not many complaints during the election—next to none, in fact—and that all of this is happening nine months later suggests that this is a smear campaign by a party that lost the election.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is surprising because the number of subpoenas continues to rise.

Let us talk about the Conservatives' electoral fraud. Today, we learned that the Conservatives laundered money through ridings in Quebec, money that was used to pay for RMG calls.

After pleading guilty to the in and out scandal, the Conservatives have struck again.

Why did the Prime Minister abandon all ethical principles during his last election campaign?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is completely untrue. The local candidate said, “The contract was signed by my official agent and RMG. Our campaign received the services promised: RMG identified voters in my riding.”

That was the candidate's statement.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, evidence is mounting and the number of subpoenas is growing. The RCMP is going to Thunder Bay. Court documents mention calls to Windsor. Ridings spent thousands for no work in Quebec. The Prime Minister knows the investigation has grown well beyond Guelph.

Has the government handed over all the information about its work with RMG and RackNine, or are the Conservatives waiting for their subpoenas?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the statements just made by the leader of the NDP are completely untrue. The fact of the matter is there is an investigation in one particular riding that has been going on for some time with the assistance of the Conservative Party. Beyond that, these complaints had their origin nine months after the election, which is obviously a deliberate smear tactic by a party that lost the election.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives want proof. How about this letter from 83-year-old Florence Grottenberg from Calgary?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what is so funny.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre has the floor.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a letter from 83-year-old Florence Grottenberg of Calgary. The day before the election, the Conservative campaign called her and asked for her vote. She said, “No, I don't support the Conservative Party”. On election day she got the phony phonecall that said her voting station had moved 20 blocks away to a school in south Calgary. “How strange,” she writes, since she voted at the real polling station which was in the lobby of her apartment building.

I wonder if someone on the Conservative benches would like to stand up and apologize to Florence Grottenberg for lying to her and cheating her out of her vote.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

There is too much noise.

The hon. parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, he might be the only member in the House silly enough to suggest that we would have to suppress votes in Calgary to win seats.

The NDP has suggested that we need to see some evidence. Here is some evidence as to what may have gone in the last campaign.

For example, in the riding of Eglinton—Lawrence, we have heard that Joe Volpe, the Liberal candidate, reported in a CBC story that voters were upset because they were being contacted and asked to support Joe Volpe or take a lawn sign and the calls were based in North Dakota. What we learned is that Joe Volpe paid over $25,000 to Prime Contact, a calling company with offices in North Dakota.