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House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

World TB DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, March 24 was World TB Day, an international day of action to mobilize political will to combat tuberculosis.

Every year, 8.8 million new people become infected with TB and 1.4 million die needlessly from this curable disease.

Canada is not immune to this epidemic. Sixty-three per cent of Canada's TB cases are among newcomer Canadians, reinforcing the fact that TB is a disease that knows no borders.

Tuberculosis remains a global problem, requiring continued global leadership to develop concrete strategies and commit sustained resources toward global TB control.

I ask all members of the House to join me and commit to take action as global leaders to prevent death from tuberculosis.

Bioindustrial Innovation CentreStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I speak in support of my community of Sarnia—Lambton where we have focused on expanding our economy to unleash the knowledge of our local workforce. This means we have had to find innovative projects for our community.

The Government of Canada has assisted in this effort with an investment of $15 million under the national centres of excellence program, seed money that helped create the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre.

This week we are seeing a world leading effort in action as the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre hosts the BIC international conference to discuss the risks to commercialization of biochemicals and bioproducts.

Sarnia's economic stakeholders are attempting to link our industrial know-how with opportunities connected to the Alberta oil sands. We have the skilled labour and the fabrication capabilities to play a vital role in this capacity.

It is time for stakeholders in Ontario to realize the full potential there is for co-operation with our friends in the Alberta energy sector.

Government PrioritiesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to celebrate the election of our new leader. The NDP stands united behind this man of conviction who will lead us to power in 2015.

Over the past few weeks, I held pre-budget consultations with the people in my riding of Hull—Aylmer. I met with representatives of community organizations, business people and seniors.

There was a clear consensus: the people fear this government. They disapprove of its policies and will oppose the cuts it intends to make.

This government must revise its priorities. Canadian families need help making ends meet, not help tightening their belts. Seniors need to live in dignity, not in poverty.

On behalf of the people in my riding, I am asking this government to cancel the cuts it intends to make. The people in my riding do not want these cuts.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week, I visited the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, building on the visit of the UAE foreign minister to Ottawa earlier this month.

The successful visit and the dialogue between our foreign minister and the UAE foreign minister showed Canada's strong engagement with the region. I consulted with Emirati and Turkish officials regarding bilateral relations and regional issues, security throughout the Middle East, trade, commerce and travel.

While in Turkey, I consulted vastly on the increasingly grave situation in Syria and led the groundwork for Canada's participation in the upcoming meeting of the Friends of Syria to be held in Istanbul, which will be attended by our foreign minister. I took the opportunity to meet with the Syrian National Council, where I once again emphasized Canada's position to support freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law for all Syrian people.

Women's CurlingStatements By Members

March 27th, 2012 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, on behalf of the Government of Canada and the citizens of southern Alberta, I had the honour of welcoming the world to Lethbridge for the World Women's Curling Championship.

The tournament gave us a chance to showcase the spirit of Canadian competition and co-operation. In addition to the many generous corporate sponsors, over 300 local volunteers, including the Lethbridge Firefighters Pipes and Drums, put in thousands of hours to make the tournament a world-class success.

We are especially proud of team Canada, skipped by full-time mom, Heather Nedohin. She and her team demonstrated Canadian toughness and tenacity by battling through adversity to represent us on the podium after winning the bronze medal.

On behalf of my fellow parliamentarians, I thank team Canada, the city of Lethbridge and the hard-working volunteers. They have once again made Canada proud.

NDP Leadership RaceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past six months, Canadians listened as nine excellent candidates from across the country articulated their visions. I had the honour of being among them and the privilege of meeting thousands of Canadians who want a better Canada.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the voters in my riding for their support and their faith in me during the race.

I also thank everyone who supported my campaign, who volunteered their time and who joined our movement for a better Canada. Finally, I thank everyone from all across Canada who chose to take this opportunity to get involved in the political dialogue of this land, bringing their much-needed voices forward to be heard.

This experience has confirmed my belief that Canada can have the healthiest environment, the fairest society and the strongest economy in the world. We can make that happen by working together and, with the member for Outremont as our new leader, we New Democrats will make that belief a reality.

Meegwetch.

IranStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Norouz season is now in full swing. During this season, I urge my colleagues to take a moment to appreciate the contributions that Canadians of Iranian origin have made to our country. It is also important to take a moment to stand up for peace, human rights and democracy in Iran.

Our Prime Minister has rightly condemned the government of Iran for its human rights abuses and its refusal to comply with the international standards for nuclear responsibility. It is important that we as parliamentarians recognize, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs said, that our quarrel is with the Iranian regime and not with the Iranian people. In fact, because of the actions of the regime, Canadians of Iranian background now live with increasing anxiety. They are concerned about the security and health of their loved ones in Iran.

I share those concerns and I suspect that my colleagues in the House also share them. I therefore ask all of my colleagues in the House to join me in support of the people of Iranian background who share our love of freedom and to wish everyone happy Norouz.

Norouz mubarak.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, over the past seven months Canadians have seen what real democracy looks like. A diverse and talented group of candidates, respectful debates and a set of common goals to fix Ottawa, to strengthen our communities and to form a progressive and inclusive government in 2015. All the while our formidable caucus, led by the member for Hull—Aylmer, was able to provide a powerful opposition to this out-of-touch government each and every day.

Constituents in Dartmouth—Cole Harbour and in fact all Canadians have said loud and clear that they want to see strong, inclusive and optimistic leadership in Ottawa. In selecting the hon. member for Outremont to lead us, the party is giving Canadians a strong leader and the best alternative to the government.

I am excited to work with him and the rest of our caucus as we offer practical solutions to the real problems Canadians face.

Juno AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to the late Pierre Juneau, who passed away a month ago and who was the inspiration for the Juno Awards.

This week there is a big celebration of Canadian music and the spotlight is on Ottawa as the host of the 2012 JUNO Awards. Canadian music stars will be converging in the national capital of the best country in the world to showcase their talent and celebrate the success of our vibrant music industry.

Yesterday was the kick-off to Juno week, a week of special events and live music. We can be proud of the wealth and diversity of musical talent that Canada has to offer to people here at home and around the world.

Please join me in remembering the late Hon. Pierre Juneau and in celebrating our amazing Canadian artists.

Events in ToulouseStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the conclusion of the Jewish mourning period for the brutal murder of a Rabbi and three children in Toulouse, France, a horrific attack occurring after the same gunman murdered three French-North African paratroopers; to express my profound condolences and that of members of the House to the bereaved families of Rabbi Sandler, his sons Arieh and Gabriel, ages 5 and 3, and 8-year-old Myriam Monsenego; to stand in solidarity with the victim communities of such brutal attacks, which diminish their sense of security and belonging, and serve as a painful reminder of the dangers of home-grown terrorism and extremism; and to condemn the ugly anti-Semitism in the wake of these attacks, such as the desecration of Jewish graves in Nice, the celebration of these anti-Semitic attacks on the Internet and the lauding of them by al-Qaeda.

May we remain vigilant in combatting all forms of racism, hatred, anti-Semitism and terrorism, and may the remembrance and memory of these victims serve as remembrance, reminder and a blessing for us all.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, since we were elected in 2006, our Conservative government has consistently stood up for victims of crime and we have introduced measures to protect communities and families.

Every step of the way the opposition and the so-called experts said that there would be a tremendous surge of new inmates in prisons. That simply has not materialized.

The member for Burnaby—New Westminster has stated numerous times that our government is spending too much time locking up dangerous criminals, even quoting discredited radical left-wing organizations that have estimated outrageous cost figures, all of which have been unfounded. He even goes so far as to use despicable scare tactics to say that we are cutting programs for seniors to pay for new prisons, prisons which do not even exist.

I would note that our annual budget for corrections is a mere 8% of what is spent on old age security on an annual basis. Both of those figures, however, are dwarfed by the cost of $100 billion. That is the cost for law-abiding victims of crime who have to pay that price every year.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today to welcome and support the member for Outremont as the new leader of the NDP and leader of the official opposition.

Our leadership campaign encompassed many fine ideas and perspectives from excellent candidates. We thank them all for their outstanding work and commitment.

As New Democrats, we stand together with our newly elected leader. We are more ready than ever to hold the Conservative government to account and to show the Conservatives for what they are: mean-spirited, anti-democratic and against the interests of average Canadians.

I know the member for Outremont is a vigorous and experienced parliamentarian. He will take up his leadership mandate with passion, commitment and boldness. He has the support of a great caucus, and we are ready to work.

Together we will continue the work of Jack Layton and chart a way forward that will defeat the Conservatives in favour of strong progressive values, social justice, equality and fairness for all Canadians.

I congratulate our new leader.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government stands up for the responsible development of our oil sands. Oil sands development is expected to contribute over $2.6 trillion to the Canadian economy and create over 900,000 new jobs from coast to coast over the next 25 years. By contrast, the NDP leader erroneously claims that the oil sands are taking more money out of the Canadian economy than they are putting in.

While the oil sands are expected to create $63 billion of economic benefits in Ontario alone, the NDP leader blames Canada's oil sands for a decline in eastern manufacturing jobs even as he supports a raise in taxes on job-creating manufacturing companies. On top of this, the NDP leader suggested a carbon tax that would kill jobs and economic growth, especially in our energy sector.

This opposition to jobs and growth shows the risk the anti-trade, anti-jobs NDP presents to the Canadian standard of living.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we have known for years that the specifications for new fighter jets were written with F-35s in mind. The process was rigged from the start. Now we have learned that the F-35s do not even fulfill the requirements. This proves that the tendering process was rigged.

Yet the Conservatives made it clear that they would brook no dissent. According to them, only the F-35s met the requirements. But that is not true.

Why have they told the opposite of the truth?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all true.

It is clear that Canada needs to replace its existing fleet. That is why we have been partners in the F-35 program for the past 15 years. We plan to continue participating in the program, but we have not signed a contract. We have the flexibility we need to work with our budget to replace our aircraft. But the NDP has always been against necessary investment in the Canadian Forces, including in planes that our men and women in uniform need.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives are so confident that the F-35s meet the operational requirements, they should be willing to table the full list in the House today. Even when they are rigging the process, they cannot get a plane that meets Canada's needs. It is way over budget and they do not even have any guarantee of proper industrial benefits for Canada, one of the leading aerospace countries in the world.

When are the Conservatives going to show some basic competence with public money and have an open, transparent, public competition to replace the CF-18s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. If the NDP had its way, there would be no replacement for the CF-18. We do need a replacement for our men and women in uniform.

As a country, as a responsible ally, we need a replacement for that fleet. We have pursued that for now 15 years under two different governments. There was a selection process. We have already outlined enormous industrial benefits right across Canada. Thousands of jobs will be created through this important acquisition.

We do commit to doing this within budget, maintaining the flexibility that we require to achieve that objective.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we will see what the Auditor General thinks about that. But since we are talking about budget decisions, other decisions have been rather strange. For instance, the Prime Minister decided to go to Switzerland to announce to Canada's seniors that their old age security would no longer be the same.

The eligibility age would be increased to 67, without any logical explanation, since all indicators show that the system is viable. However, as with the F-35s, the Conservatives are ignoring the facts and showing utter contempt for the concept of sound fiscal management.

The Conservatives never gave any indication that they were going to touch pensions, so why attack current and future pensioners?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear that the NDP has never considered the future of our social programs, including old age security.

We are moving from a time when there were seven workers for every pensioner to a time when there will be only two workers for every pensioner. The life expectancy of Canadians is increasing, and we need to reflect that reality, just as all other developed countries have done, by making changes to secure the future of our programs for seniors.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives said nothing to Canadians about their attack on OAS in the last election. In fact, the Prime Minister promised a steady as it goes approach. Instead, the Conservatives are slashing retirement security for families and downloading billions to provinces. Seniors are going to have work years longer. That is not what the Prime Minister campaigned on.

Why are Conservatives targeting future seniors with their attack on OAS? Why did they not come clean about it with Canadians in the last election?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to speculate on the budget, as I said yesterday. Let us be very clear. We are trying to ensure that OAS is sustainable for the future and that future generations of Canadians have an opportunity to access OAS. Old age security will become unsustainable on its current path. Ignoring this actually puts future generations of Canadians at risk.

We are focused on ensuring we have a retirement income security system that works for Canadians, unlike the NDP.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, they never once mentioned this in their campaign. Why not? They have not answered that.

OAS is not their only target. During the last campaign, the Prime Minister said, “We are planning on a six-per-cent ongoing increase for health transfers. We have been very consistent on this”.

However, after the election the Conservatives decided to break this promise and shortchange provinces by $31 billion. This will hurt our health care services. Why are they breaking their promise and downloading billions of new costs onto the provinces?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to a universal publicly funded health care system. Again, unlike the previous Liberal government, which gutted health care transfers, we have actually increased funding to record levels. We have announced a long-term stable arrangement with the provinces and the territories that will see transfers reach historic levels of $40 billion by the end of the decade.

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when Air Canada was privatized under a previous Conservative government, the deputy prime minister of the day, Mr. Mazankowski, said, “The Act would have to be amended if there were going to be any modification concerning the transfer of AIR CANADA's Overhaul Centres to another location”.

That is a very clear indication as to what the deputy prime minister of the day said was in the law and the protection provided to workers.

I would like to ask the government spokesman today if he could tell us this. Does he agree or does he disagree with the statement that was made by the deputy prime minister?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we obviously regret, seriously, all of us, all parties, the loss of these jobs. It is very unfortunate for the workers affected.

However, let us be clear. The Minister of Transport has called for legal advice in respect of the obligations that may exist. He has also asked the transport committee of this place to study the issue, to call the parties together, to get a full and transparent view of the views of all of those concerned.