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House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, throughout the month of March, francophones around the world are celebrating their language, culture and values. Canada is obviously very proud to be part of the Francophonie and to contribute to the dissemination of the French language and francophone culture and values.

Today, being a member of the Francophonie is not about recognizing the travels of Cartier or Samuel de Champlain; it is about getting involved with other countries in essential missions such as the consolidation of the rule of law, peace, gender equality, sustainable development and solidarity, beginning with the francophone community and extending to the entire international community. All members of the NDP from coast to coast, wish to participate in these great missions of the Francophonie, and will be especially vigilant in ensuring that the current government respects its commitments.

Speaking of commitments, we will also ensure that the Government of Canada's commitments with regard to defending and promoting official language minority communities, mostly francophone communities, are reflected in the budgets of the various departments.

I call on all francophones and francophiles to celebrate the Francophonie together on March 20, both at home and abroad.

UkraineStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I call on the Ukrainian government to respect the democratic wishes of the Ukrainian people and stop its politically motivated attacks against its opposition.

Last week the foreign affairs committee heard from expert witnesses who confirmed that the situation in Ukraine continues to worsen, with the erosion of human rights, freedoms and democracy.

Former primer minister Yulia Tymoshenko is currently in prison, where she is reportedly in poor health and is being denied the medical attention she needs. I would like to thank the Canadian doctors who visited Ms. Tymoshenko in February.

Former minister of interior Yuriy Lutsenko was recently sentenced to four years in prison as part of the Ukrainian government's ongoing pursuit to silence the opposition.

These convictions are a miscarriage of justice and are nothing but show trials. I call on President Yanukovych to restore the rule of law and judicial independence in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government's blatant gerrymandering of the election laws prove that there must be international election monitoring for Ukraine's upcoming parliamentary elections. Canada and the world are watching and continue to strongly state that President Yanukovych's actions will not be tolerated.

Nik ZoricicStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise in the House to today to remember Nik Zoricic, 29-year-old Canadian ski cross star. Nik had a catastrophic accident while competing in a World Cup ski cross race in Grindelwald, Switzerland. His family home is located in my riding of Etobicoke Centre.

A pioneer in Canadian ski cross, Nik had a stellar future before him. Prior to his untimely passing, Nik had been working toward earning a place on Canada's Olympic ski cross team.

Last Sunday, Nik's Canadian teammates, friends, coaches and competitors from the World Cup ski cross community skied down the same course that claimed Nik's life. They all wore jeans in a touching tribute to the jeans Nik wore during his first World Cup ski cross race four years ago.

On behalf of all parliamentarians and all Canadians, I extend the condolences and sympathies of this House to Nik's parents, Silvia and Bebe Zoricic, and the whole of the Zoricic family.

Nik's fun-loving attitude, passion and competitive dedication will be missed by Canadian sports enthusiasts and the ski cross community in particular.

Antonio SilipoStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we mourn the loss of Antonio Silipo.

First elected as a school trustee at the Toronto Board of Education, Tony Silipo embarked on his political career to ensure that all children, especially those from immigrant families, had equal opportunities to reach their highest academic performance. Tony Silipo continued that passion as the chair of the Toronto Board of Education, and then as the Ontario minister of education.

Tony sought to protect the most vulnerable during a severe economic downturn when he became the minister of community and social services in 1993.

We are immensely grateful that Tony, a life-long New Democrat, dedicated his life to public service. May his legacy continue through the scholarship in his name at the Toronto District School Board.

On behalf of Canada's New Democrats, we wish to extend our deepest condolences to Tony's wife, Anne Marie, his son, Adrian, and all members of his extended family.

Science and TechnologyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, the Minister of State for Science and Technology further delivered on our government's commitment to research and development. He announced 132 newly awarded or renewed Canada research chairs, to attract and retain the world's best researchers right here in Canada.

With this funding, our researchers will continue making advances in disease prevention and treatment, information technology, and genetics, to name only a few.

Our government has made investments in science and technology across the board, from basic research and discovery all the way through to commercialization.

Canadians can count on our government to continue investing in science and technology to create jobs, grow our economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, on March 20 we will celebrate the International Day of La Francophonie, a UN day of observance that celebrates the French language.

La Francophonie is made up of more than 220 million French speakers worldwide. In Canada, more than 9.5 million people speak French. North America's Francophonie originated in Acadia and is now found across the country.

Canada's Francophonie is enriched by francophone newcomers from around the world who contribute to Canada's economic and cultural development. Did you know that French is an official language in 36 countries?

As Jack Layton pointed out, “Canada’s varied and unique francophone communities have made an invaluable contribution to Canadian society. Over time, these communities have helped shape our identity as a country, something we are very proud of.”

The NDP wishes you a happy International Day of La Francophonie on March 20 and invites you to discover or rediscover the beauty of the French language all year round.

IranStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, reports suggest that Iran is courting Canadian aboriginal leaders, offering to fly a group of Manitoba chiefs to Tehran under the mantle of care and concern.

We all know what this is really about. This is about channel changes, distractions and continued deception by Iran's leaders on real matters of human rights.

Iran has a deplorable record in this area. Its treatment of women, religious minorities and others is simply horrific. That it would attempt to lecture a country like ours on human rights is truly delusional.

The Iranian regime's continued failure to address its own internal shortcomings borders on the criminal. This same Iranian regime is now attempting to exploit Canadian aboriginal leaders and feign concern as part of another PR stunt to distract from its own abhorrent record.

We hope that the aboriginal leaders in question will not allow themselves to be used as pawns in this pathetic game the Iranians are playing.

Redpath MuseumStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 130th anniversary of the Redpath Museum at McGill University in Montreal.

The Redpath Museum opened in 1882 and was the first museum dedicated to the study of the diversity of our biological, geological, and cultural heritage. The faculty, staff and students of the Redpath Museum are active in scientific research, the study of collections and education at all levels.

To mark the museum's 130th year, the students of the Redpath Museum Club have published a book entitled Beyond the Roddick Gates celebrating the history of the museum.

The Redpath Museum is an important public resource that welcomes tens of thousands of visitors every year, who come to see its exhibits, attend conferences and take part in its bilingual public programming. As set out in its original charter in 1882, the museum is free for the general public.

I wish the Redpath Museum a happy birthday.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, we all know that Liberals can engage in underhanded, sleazy tricks, whether it is making illegal or improper election phone calls in Guelph or, in this case, using taxpayer-funded House of Commons resources to smear the Minister of Public Safety.

They have even gone so far as to engage their go-to, soft on crime lawyer to try to make sure that Adam Carroll does not attend the ethics committee to tell Canadians who was behind this smear.

The fact is that Parliament has the absolute authority to send for persons when it sees fit. This is not limited by any sense of Liberal entitlement or otherwise. Adam Carroll must attend as soon as possible to tell the committee who ordered him to post this information, what the Liberals knew about this and when they knew.

Indeed, all Canadians have a right to know the full extent of Liberal involvement and what they knew.

National DefenceStatements By Members

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

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, in March of last year the Prime Minister described the F-35s as the “only option available” to replace our CF-18s.

Apparently not. Two days ago at the defence committee the Associate Minister of National Defence said that it was not clear if they would actually purchase the F-35. He then added, “...we have not as yet discounted the possibility...of backing out of” the program. Finally, he admitted to an active search for alternatives to the F-35.

The crusade is in full retreat. What the Conservatives had once described as all that is “holy and decent” is now clearly a matter of mismanagement and, ultimately, duplicity.

Our troops deserve better than this gross incompetence. Canadians deserve a transparent and responsible government. We know that means an NDP government in 2015, but in the meantime it is clearly time to take this file out of the hands of the flip-flopping minister and put this contract out to tender.

SyriaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, as the Syrian crisis enters its second year, there are more signs today that the Assad regime is completely detached from reality.

While Syrian security forces have killed and maimed innocent men, women and children by the thousands, Assad and his wife have been searching the web mail ordering designer shoes and downloading their favourite songs. It is not pop tunes, it is loony tunes.

With every passing day it becomes more clear that Assad must go.

I am very proud that Canada, under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been at the forefront of international efforts to end the Syrian crisis.

Today, our thoughts are with the innocent victims of Assad's brutality. We know that he is becoming more and more isolated.

We know that brighter days lie ahead for the Syrian people. Our government will continue to be a part of the solution to this crisis.

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, while the other parties are too busy with their own scandals, we are taking action for families. For example, yesterday, the NDP proposed a solution to essential drug shortages.

Families are very worried about how cuts to the services they need will affect them. The government says that families will not know what to expect until the fall. That is unacceptable.

Will the Prime Minister finally tell us the truth? Will he tell us which public services are going to be eliminated?

Government ServicesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all of these questions will be answered in the budget. I encourage the NDP leader to wait for the budget.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, families cannot wait. They need to know.

Canadian families deserve better. Instead of reckless cuts, we need a real jobs plan. More than 60,000 full-time jobs have disappeared since September. Canadians are giving up their search. Families are giving up hope.

The New Democrats have a better plan. The Conservatives even voted for it. Why will they not implement the NDP's jobs plan in their budget and get Canadians back to work.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not only does the government have a plan that is working for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, I see that the leader of the NDP, in her most recent parliamentary bulletin to her constituents, actually praised a whole range of Conservative measures, all of the measures that she and her party actually voted against. However, I congratulate them on seeing the light and coming around to the Conservative--

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. leader of the opposition.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, at least we keep our constituents informed. It is very important that they know what they are entitled to.

On voter fraud, the Conservatives have avoided taking any responsibility. They are the only ones being investigated. Their database is being examined by Elections Canada. Now they are trying to scapegoat the staffer they fired. Surprise.

This is my last question for the Prime Minister as the NDP leader. Why will he not call a public inquiry? Why will he not show leadership? What is he afraid of?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this may be my last opportunity to address the leader of the NDP as the leader. I must say, reading over this householder for constituents, how delighted I am with the progress that we have made over the past few months. We have not only turned the leader of the NDP into a federalist but now, apparently, into a tax cutter and even into a Conservative.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, whenever the heat gets too close to the Prime Minister, we see a pattern. The Conservatives grab some kid and throw him under the bus.

However, there is a real problem with their latest scapegoat. The Globe and Mail is now reporting that Mr. Sona did not pull the list from the Conservative national database. As well, Elections Canada was not even interested in Mr. Sona until the Conservatives leaked his name.

Why are the Conservatives so desperate to blame it on this kid? Who had access to the database? Who supplied the scripts? Who paid for the phone calls? Who are they trying to hide?

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, as we know, and as I indicated yesterday, the NDP is obviously backtracking on many of the baseless smears that it has made. It has in fact had to apologize for many of the statements that it has made outside of this House. I think there are still some lawsuits ongoing for some of the things that it has said. Now, its own dirty tricks are coming to light. We are seeing that right across the country as well.

The NDP has a lot to atone for. We hope that it will assist Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, there we go. It is so bad for him that he has had to move into living in a make-believe world. However, we need to get back to the real facts and reality.

It has been just four months since the Conservatives pled guilty to electoral fraud and, as I speak, investigators are going through their database to get to the bottom of the latest round of Conservative electoral fraud. My God, the rates of criminal recidivism on that bench are staggering. No wonder we need a public inquiry. We have to get--

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on spiralling F-35 costs, during the last election, the Prime Minister told an audience in Mississauga that we had a contract that basically sheltered us against any increases in the development costs of the F-35 and that he was confident of his cost estimates. That was incorrect and clearly misled Canadians.

Yesterday, he tried to do some damage control and talked about a memorandum of understanding. I am afraid the Prime Minister does not understand this file very well. I would like to ask him today if he could clarify.