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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.

[Members sang the national anthem]

CurlingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, in Saskatoon, we witnessed one of the most exciting finishes in Canadian men's championship curling in recent years. The final, on Sunday, had fans glued to their TVs and iPods as Glenn Howard's Ontario rink fought off a late surge by Kevin Koe's Alberta rink to capture the 2012 Tim Hortons Brier. It was another proud achievement for Glenn, his fourth Brier win and his second as skip.

The Howard team heralds from the Coldwater Curling Club in the centre of my riding. I know that all the members there and our entire community are immensely proud of Glenn and his Ontario team.

Congratulations to skip Glenn Howard, lead Craig Savill, second Brent Laing, and third, veteran Wayne Middaugh for taking the Brier last weekend. They will have thousands of Canadian sports fans cheering them on as they take on the world championship next month in Switzerland.

Uranium ExplorationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to draw the attention of the House to the efforts of the people of Manicouagan, who have created “Minganie sans uranium”, an organization trying to stop uranium exploration north of Baie-Johan-Beetz and Aguanish.

To that end, the organization planned two grassroots events on the ground during the month of February. The theme was “radioactive performance”, and I attended both events. Artists Florent Vollant and Claude McKenzie, from the duo Kashtin, gave a wonderful performance and reiterated their support for this kind of community mobilization. Several other artists from the region were also in attendance.

Lastly, the group opposed to the uranium mining project received some unparalleled exposure when the spokesperson for the coalition Pour que le Québec ait meilleure MINE, Ugo Lapointe, went to the Uracan head office in Vancouver to deliver a letter expressing the group's opposition to the project. I am pleased to reiterate my support for this grassroots opposition movement.

Chalk River LaboratoriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the safety of Canadians is the top priority for employees at the Chalk River nuclear laboratories of AECL. In 2011, we witnessed first-hand the importance of safety in the nuclear industry after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Our homegrown nuclear industry is a world leader when it comes to developing cutting-edge technologies to mitigate risks.

The people of Chalk River Laboratories have developed a technology to absorb hydrogen gas. This gas represents a hazard in events such as occurred in Japan. The devices, known as passive autocatalytic recombiners, have successfully sold across Canada and to nuclear operators in Europe and Asia. Canada was only able to develop this technology as a result of the testing facilities at Chalk River Laboratories.

The nuclear industry is a vital part of Canada's economy. Over 50 companies and 70,000 full-time jobs help fuel our knowledge economy. Congratulations to everyone who works at Chalk River Laboratories for making it one of the world's leading centres of nuclear science and research.

Irving LaytonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute and celebrate the centenary of Irving Layton, a great teacher, poet, literati, wordsmith and architect of language; indeed, a poetic genius with an abiding jeremiad against injustice. He internalized in his psyche, as well as in his poetry, the romanticism of Shelley, the pantheism of Wordsworth, the dialectics of Hegel and the questioning of Socrates, being also the voice of the voiceless.

Irving Layton was my teacher, mentor and inspiration, who also became my close colleague and friend. He taught me how to think, how to advocate, how to struggle against injustice and, in Leonard Cohen's words, how to live.

May this centenary serve as an occasion for our youth to discover this poetic genius, as well as to inspire us all in the struggle against injustice.

Mississauga SouthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to inform the House about what residents of Mississauga South are doing to contribute to conservation in an urban setting.

Now in extensive consultations including the Lakeview Ratepayers Association, beautiful Mississauga South will be made even more picturesque with a revitalized waterfront on Lake Ontario. This project will see newly created wetlands as well as parks which will be enjoyed by Mississauga families and seniors. The waterfront development will leverage environmentally friendly landfill to offset costs and to recycle what might otherwise be wasted.

The Lakeview project is a prime example of what can be achieved with an approach to conservation that takes into account both the people who live in a community, as well as nature and wildlife. As a member of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, which begins its study on a national conservation plan, I am delighted to take part in developing a conservation plan that connects even more urban Canadians to nature.

I thank councillor Jim Tovey of the City of Mississauga for his leadership and the Lakeview Corridor volunteers for improving the quality of life in Mississauga South.

Shale GasStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate two grandmothers in my riding. All on their own, Luce Cloutier and France Mercille of Mont-Saint-Hilaire produced an excellent documentary, 20 000 puits sous les terres, l'impact sur les gens vivant près des gaz de schiste, about the impact of shale gas development on nearby residents.

This moving documentary focuses on the industry's impact on the people of Montérégie and the St. Lawrence River valley.

Ms. Cloutier and Ms. Mercille interviewed some 20 residents of my region who are living with shale gas wells in their backyards. They showed just how helpless people feel when big companies show up without warning to dig wells that are practically in people's backyards.

The filmmakers remind us that people are not powerless against the shale gas industry. Together, we can challenge the arrogant and lawless industry and raise awareness of the difficult situation people in my region are facing.

Once again, congratulations to Luce Cloutier and France Mercille on their excellent documentary. I am very proud of their work.

Defence Industries LimitedStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Alexander Conservative Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to 9,000 Canadians, mostly women, who toiled at Defence Industries Limited in Ajax to win the war. With over 100 kilometres of rail and road, it was the largest munitions factory in the Empire. Its workers filled 40 million shells for the Allies. They came from across Canada, changing assumptions about women in the workplace and tilting the balance toward victory. They were Canadian optimists, naming their town for the first victory of the war in 1939 when HMS Ajax triumphed over a larger foe.

Canadians now are rediscovering this chapter in our history thanks to Bomb Girls, the Global Television series from Maureen Jennings and Debbie Drennan. Through shift matron Lorna or Betty and Kate, the girls of Blue Shift, wartime Canada has been brought vividly to life.

For five dangerous years at DIL, hard-working women like Louise Johnson left their jewellery at the door to fill 40 millimetre casings with cordite. On behalf of millions of Canadians, I wish to salute these unsung heroes, congratulate the creators of Bomb Girls on their amazing success and support the new Ajax bomb girls, Pat Brown, Pat Clark, Colleen Jordan and others, in their efforts to build a lasting memorial to the women of DIL. Please join me in paying tribute to Canada's bomb girls.

Central AfricaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the students of Chinook High School joined their voices with thousands across the country and around the world to condemn the heinous war criminal, Joseph Kony. Kony and his LRA fighters regularly rape and pillage and mutilate and massacre civilian populations in central Africa. They kidnap children to force girls to be sex slaves and boys to kill their own parents and mutilate their friends, as child soldiers.

These students are shocked and appalled at these atrocities. I am inspired that they have responded with this spirit of optimism, convinced that their resolve to make a difference will make a difference. One student said, “I saw my peers... inspired and full of empathy and passion. I saw hope that justice would be served and the innate goodness of humankind would prevail”.

Their hope is not in vain. Canada will continue to support and contribute to the international community's resolve to stop the LRA, save the child soldiers and bring Joseph Kony to justice.

Service CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the employees at the Service Canada call centre in my riding of Hamilton Centre and my constituents who rely on these services recently received the bad news that our local office was being closed no later than March 2014 and possibly as early as this Christmas.

This office plays a critical role in providing support to thousands of people in my hometown of Hamilton who need assistance with employment insurance, old age security and Canada pension plan applications. The closure means the loss of good paying jobs in our community. More importantly, my constituents who use these services, many of whom have literacy issues or language barriers, or do not have access to the Internet, are now at risk of being left behind. This is completely unacceptable.

The move to close the Hamilton office is part of a continuing trend by the Conservative government to save money at the expense of providing quality and timely services that Canadians expect and deserve from their public institutions. The Conservative government continues to fail my constituents just as it continues to fail Canadians across the country.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, marijuana grow ops harm our communities. There are unacceptable risks to those living where marijuana plants are being illegally cultivated. Wherever they exist, there is a real potential for an increase in criminal activity.

I would like to congratulate the RCMP for taking action to shut down a 5,200 plant marijuana grow op near Nelson, B.C. While searching the premises, the RCMP found two young children who were living in the home and were exposed to all the dangers of the operation. Situations like these are putting children at risk. Any time children are exposed to chemicals, unsafe wiring and drugs there is a real chance that they could be seriously hurt. That is why we have taken action and passed the safe streets and communities act. This bill will seriously and appropriately punish those who produce and traffic illegal drugs.

The member for St. John's East says that people like those responsible for grow ops such as this are just misunderstood individuals who have simply run afoul of the law. On this side of the House—

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Gatineau.

Status of Women in AfghanistanStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past 10 years, incredible progress has been made in Afghanistan, but women in that country are still not benefiting fully from that progress. A young woman from Gatineau, Ahura Homayun, talked to my team to raise awareness about this issue. Despite all the work that has been accomplished, Afghanistan is still one of the worst places for women: the maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world; 87% of women are illiterate; only 30% of young girls have access to education; one woman in three suffers physical or sexual abuse; and 70% to 80% of women are in forced marriages.

President Karzai has supported a voluntary code of conduct developed by a religious advisory committee to reduce the rights gained by women and legitimize violence against them. We cannot tolerate this step backward. I am calling on the government to immediately engage in dialogue about this with the Afghan authorities and to appeal to them to respect women's rights because doing so is essential to peace and security in their country.

John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom AwardStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, I have the great privilege of emceeing the second annual John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award ceremony here in Ottawa.

The Diefenbaker award is named in honour of Canada's 13th prime minister, one of this country's greatest champions of human rights. It honours individuals or groups who show exceptional courage and leadership in defending human rights and freedoms in their communities and all around the world.

I know that all members of the House will join me in congratulating this year's recipients who will be announced later today.

As Canadians, we enjoy the rights and privileges that come with living in a free and democratic society in which human rights are respected. However, we also are keenly aware of the struggles faced elsewhere.

Canada will continue to stand with the defenders of human rights for all people who courageously seek to promote and protect fundamental freedoms around the world.

Tony SilipoStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada lost a fine public servant this week when Tony Silipo lost his long battle with brain cancer.

I first knew Tony well through his work in the Italian community in the west end of the city of Toronto. Elected to the legislature of Ontario in 1990, Tony served with me in the Government of Ontario as a cabinet minister with great ability and integrity in the busy and difficult portfolios of education and community and social services and went on to serve as a valued member of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

He was a man of great intelligence and dedication with a quiet but determined manner, which earned him the admiration of his opponents as well as his loyal supporters. A proud son of Calabria, he could laugh at himself and was always a source of advice and friendship to his colleagues and to the wider community. Much of his work went unheralded since self-promotion was never his trademark.

We send our deepest condolences to his wife and family and hope that the memories of better times and the support of loved ones and friends will make this terrible loss more bearable.

[Member spoke in Italian as follows]

Vai in pace fratello.

Member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-LoupStatements By Members

March 14th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I have in my hands an advertisement that proves that the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup thinks he is Detective Columbo. Instead of using his House of Commons budget to do his job, he is using it to do the work of Elections Canada, despite the agency's instructions.

I urge the member to use the resources of the House of Commons to do his job as an MP and not to conduct investigations that are Elections Canada's responsibility. Will the member pay for his ads in community newspapers out of his own pocket? Will the member use his budget to pay for expenses pertaining to his work as an MP and follow Elections Canada's instructions?

Leader of the Official OppositionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us work together.

Those are Jack Layton's now famous words embodied by my leader, the leader of the official opposition.

She has worked tirelessly to put Canadian families first.

And she has achieved results.

As Conservative policies saw jobs shipped down south, under her leadership, the NDP plan on jobs and the economy passed unanimously. She fought for aboriginal families and, under her leadership, the Shannen's Dream motion passed unanimously.

While other leaders argued about whose dirty tricks were worse, she unanimously passed a motion to give Elections Canada the tools to clean up this mess. Canadians sent us here to get results.

And my leader has done so.

She is the longest serving woman leader of the opposition, a committed Canadian and a shining example for all members of the House.

Thank you to my leader. Thank you, Nycole.

Research In MotionStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Research In Motion's BlackBerry is a Canadian success story. This homegrown success story has contributed to making the Waterloo region one of the high-tech hubs of the world.

I know my BlackBerry is a reliable device. It helps me to keep informed of the news and concerns of my constituents back home. It allows me to respond to people in real time and it does not keep me at my desk. It helps me work from anywhere.

I wish RIM the best under the leadership of new executive, Thorsten Heins. I hope we will be using its new innovations for decades to come.

However, our friend from Papineau likes to blame its product for his Twitter problems. I am pretty sure it is the thumb typer holding the device who is to blame for highlighting smears against the Minister of Public Safety and other mis-tweets.

That member would like to see RIM flat on its back. I think a few Canadians are hoping to see him like that at the charity boxing fundraiser in a couple of weeks.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a drug shortage such as the one we are currently experiencing should not have happened in Canada had the Minister of Health, at the very least, acted to quickly resolve the problem, which she did not do.

As a result of the Conservatives' short-sightedness, the crisis could last a year. People are really worried. Can the Prime Minister tell us what he is going to do to prevent this type of drug shortage?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we noted on a number of occasions, this drug shortage is a direct result of the fact that some provinces decided to use a single supplier for certain vital drugs. Clearly, the Minister of Health has been working with the provinces for a long time now to resolve this problem. This is a serious situation but we are trying to work together to mitigate the effects.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the NDP proposed a concrete plan to manage the current drug shortage and adopt a pan-Canadian strategy to prevent shortages from happening again. That is what the health experts and the provinces are calling for.

Canadians need a federal government with a system in place to avoid drug shortages. We must work together to protect patients.

Will the Prime Minister support the NDP motion to put an end to drug shortages?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the so-called NDP plan in the motion contains exactly the steps the government has already been following for some time.

As we all know, the provinces are responsible for purchasing their drugs and, in this case, they purchased some drugs on a sole source basis and that source has come under stress. Obviously, this is a difficult problem, one that is not easily dealt with, but the Minister of Health has been working collaboratively with the provinces to look at options and to facilitate those options.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I must say, the answers we are getting are not very reassuring for families or people who are sick. Quite frankly, it does not look as though the Prime Minister is taking this crisis seriously.

Another matter the Prime Minister is not taking seriously is the issue of fraudulent calls during the election. At the time of the sponsorship scandal, an RCMP investigation and a public inquiry were conducted simultaneously. One does not preclude the other. Elections Canada can conduct an investigation at the same time as a public inquiry.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to launch a public inquiry?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, an investigation is already under way and producing results. I would like to point out that illegal calls made by the opposition have also been discovered. I would also note that every time the NDP makes allegations outside the House, it has to apologize. It is time the NDP acted responsibly and gave all of its true information to Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to get to the bottom of the Conservative electoral fraud investigation. We now understand that the Conservative Party leaked the name of a 23-year-old staffer and tried to finger him as the mastermind behind this corruption. Mr. Sona has had to hire a lawyer to defend himself against this Conservative hatchet job.

Why are the Conservatives so desperate to throw this kid under the bus? Who are they hiding and why are they using him as their victim to protect the party?