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House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Today being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, diaper changing tables were installed in this Parliament building yesterday because I stood up and asked for them, with the support of my Bloc Québécois colleagues.

What is obvious to us now has not always been clear. Women's rights have improved over the years, but only because we fought for them. Even still, the status of women remains precarious. The vast majority of victims of poverty and domestic violence are still women.

One of the first things this Prime Minister did in 2006 was to eliminate funding for women's rights organizations. One day, this institution will have as many women as men. For now, we must continue to take umbrage when anyone tries to prevent the most vulnerable—the vast majority of whom are women—from asserting their right to a dignified life and hope for the future, for themselves and their children.

Our struggle is not over.

Ukraine at a CrossroadsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker,

[Member spoke in Ukrainian]

[English]

This evening the Ukrainian Canadian community will be kicking off a pivotal conference here in Ottawa to address the many political, economic and social issues that are facing Ukraine. The conference entitled “Ukraine at a Crossroads” will feature many key Ukrainian parliamentarians, chiefs of staff, journalists and human rights activists, amongst others.

Canada continues to be concerned about the conviction, imprisonment and reportedly deteriorating health of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

With worrisome signs of regression in Ukraine's democratic development, Canada urges the Ukrainian government to strengthen its democratic institutions. As elections approach later this year, Canada will continue to support efforts to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous society in Ukraine.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work Borys Potapenko of the League of Ukrainian Canadians, Jars Balan of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and Bob Onyschuk from the Canada Ukraine Foundation for making this conference possible.

[Member spoke in Ukrainian as follows:]

Slava Ukraine, Slava Canada.

International Aboriginal Youth InternshipsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour to attend the send-off in Victoria of 10 aboriginal youth from across B.C. on CIDA-funded aboriginal youth partnerships to Uganda and Zambia.

After months of training with the Victoria International Development Education Association, these young people were inspiring as they spoke about what had already become a life-changing experience for them. I know they will enrich the lives of the people they work with in Africa, and not least, they will bring back to their own communities in Canada what they have learned.

One young woman told me that her successful internship application had already inspired her peers back home. I commend Lynn Thornton and VIDEA for showing us how a small amount of seed money from the Canadian government can make a big difference to so many people.

St. Paul and District Hospital FoundationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday I had the honour of attending the fourth annual St. Paul and District Hospital Foundation fundraiser in my riding. After proceeds from tickets, donations and live auctions items were tabulated, the foundation raised $60,000 from the over 300 people who attended.

The money raised will be put toward a monitor for post-operative patients who have had general anesthetics and two Life Pak 12 defibrillator monitors, which are used in each of the trauma rooms in the emergency department for heart attack or cardiac arrest patients.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the St. Paul and District Hospital Foundation and all its volunteers, including Dr. Albert Harmse for his leadership in this role, as well as the community of St. Paul for supporting this important fundraiser that will help to save lives in our community and for partnering to bring the best health care possible to rural Alberta.

Mathieu LeClairStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, tragedy has again touched students in Kingston and the Islands.

Last week, we were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mathieu LeClair, a cadet at the Royal Military College of Canada.

Parents are so proud of everything their children accomplish and so is Canada proud of those training to become future leaders of our country.

This training period is not an easy time in life.

I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mathieu LeClair.

To them and the RMC community during this time of mourning, they should know that they have the support of the wider community in Kingston and the Islands, and across the country.

Special OlympicsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games were held on February 28 to March 3, 2012 in St. Albert, Alberta. Over 640 athletes participated in 7 events, including snowshoeing, floor hockey, alpine skiing, figure skating, speed skating, cross country skiing and curling.

The community of St. Albert, assisted by Strathcona County and the town of Jasper, hosted the athletes, coaches, friends and families from all across the country. It required a dedicated volunteer organization and 700 volunteers to ensure the success of an undertaking of this calibre. All of their time, energy and commitment made this event possible.

I would like to personally congratulate all of the athletes who participated in the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. I trust that the memories and friendships made will last a lifetime.

I hope the athletes enjoyed St. Albert as much as St. Albert enjoyed hosting them in this unforgettable celebration of athletic achievement. Congratulations to an exceptional Winter Special Olympics. They are all champions.

YouthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, in October, I had the pleasure of meeting with young people from my riding at the Rigaud youth centre. On that occasion I spoke to them about Canada's political system and my job as a member of Parliament.

It is often thought that young people are only interested in things that can entertain them. That is absolutely not true. Young people are just as interested as adults in participating in public life in their own way.

I would like to ask all hon. members of this House and all Canadians not to judge a person on his or her age. Let us encourage harmony between the generations.

The government should focus on the positive aspects of youth instead of considering them as potential delinquents. Let us give a voice to our young people. Let us work together to give young people their rightful place in society, so that young women and young men in Canada are considered and treated as full citizens.

Provincial Legislative InternsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome to Ottawa the legislative interns from the great provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Leezann Freed-Lobchuk, Tim Johnson, Anna Murawski, Kai Olson, Jason Stitt and Andrew Todd are members of the Manitoba legislature's internship program. Also, Elliot Bourgeault, Cody Gieni, Jason Kieffer and Reagan Seidler are participating in a similar program within the Saskatchewan legislature.

Both programs are intended for university graduates so that they can work for and engage with their respective provincial legislatures. By working with MLAs, these interns are exposed to the inner workings of the legislative process in a practical, hands-on manner, allowing them to experience a richer picture of government. Indeed, this knowledge will help equip these young people with the practical experience to engage in public policy development, which has immense benefits for the political vitality of our country.

We are very fortunate to have these young people visit us in Parliament and spend time with our federal parliamentary interns and members of Parliament.

I wish them all the best in their program.

IranStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, tonight marks the beginning of the festival of Purim, a truly joyous holiday in the Jewish tradition. Purim commemorates a time in ancient Persia when the Jewish people were saved from annihilation. Ancient Persia, as we all know, is now present-day Iran. It has been 2,400 years and still we see an ever-growing threat against the Jewish people, their homeland and the entire region. This is something we simply cannot accept.

It is fitting that Purim falls during a week when President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have discussed the spectre of violence that is descending on Israel. I sincerely hope that their talks were fruitful and that we will see a peaceful solution to the growing tension in the Middle East.

I urge all members to stand with me in support of international pressure on the Iranian government to halt its nuclear program and to enter into peaceful talks with the government of Israel.

Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater EffluentStatements By Members

March 7th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, municipalities, especially in Quebec, are very concerned about the implementation of the Canada-wide strategy for the management of municipal wastewater effluent and the accompanying draft regulations.

Even though the Government of Quebec has not yet endorsed the strategy, the federal government is insisting on unilaterally imposing regulations that require the renovation or replacement of one out of four wastewater treatment networks. This represents an investment of $9 billion over 30 years for Quebec alone.

The City of Montreal, Quebec City, the Union des municipalités du Québec and the Fédération québécoise des municipalités recognize that facilities must be modernized. Municipalities are merely asking that the new federal standards be accompanied by an appropriate investment plan.

In the next budget, the Conservative government must announce an investment plan that will help municipalities meet new requirements for wastewater treatment.

Penticton VeesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was an important date in my riding because it was on March 6, 1955 that the Penticton Vees represented Canada at the World Ice Hockey Championships and defeated the Russians five to zero and came home world champions.

Last night was again March 6, and in spite of it being some 67 years later, the Penticton Vees faced off again in a hockey game that would potentially change history. Much as they did in 1955, the Penticton Vees came through yet again. Last night the Vees hockey club did not just set a new Canadian record, but also a new North American record for the most consecutive wins in junior hockey history with a ten to zero victory.

Canadian Coach Fred Harbinson credits this achievement to 22 kids who are prepared to work hard and have an attitude of commitment to success.

I ask the House to join me in applauding the Penticton Vees Junior Hockey Club for setting a new North American record of 41 consecutive victories.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, happy one hundred and second International Women's Day. Who would have thought a hundred years ago that in 2012 women would be able to run for election, have successful careers and be given away as prizes in morning radio contests.

That is right. This is the environment we are asking women and girls of Halifax to live in, one where they are offered up as trophies, that is, their Czech Republic counterparts, anyway.

A radio station in my riding is running the charmingly named “The male is in the Czech” competition, promoting a mail order bride as a prize and using damaging ideas about foreign women's sexuality to titillate Canadian listeners.

As a woman, I am furious. As a Canadian, I want to apologize to all Czech women and to the 50,000 women of Czech descent living in Canada, incredible women like Chaviva Hosek, Hana Gartner, and Halifax's own Lucy Decoutere.

If the bride gets here, Lucy and I would be happy to show her around and we will make sure that she knows something else that Canadian women have won in the last 100 years: the right to a divorce.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to crack down on serious and violent criminals and that is exactly what we are doing.

The safe streets and communities act is comprehensive legislation that will ensure that those who commit sexual offences against children or who operate dangerous meth labs receive sentences that reflect the serious nature of these crimes.

For years, victims have been outraged that those who commit serious offences like sexual assault get to serve their sentences in the comfort of their own homes. We are putting an end to house arrest for such serious offences because we believe that the rights of victims should come first.

We promised Canadians that we would pass these important measures within the first 100 sitting days of our majority mandate. I am happy to say that we will keep that promise.

It is not hard to see why a recent Environics poll shows that 6 out of 10 Canadians support this legislation. I call on the opposition to finally get on side with the majority of Canadians and support our efforts.

World Cup VictoryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the snow had barely settled from Erin Mielzynski's lightning fast final run this weekend when the Guelph native alpine skier achieved what no Canadian female skier has in 41 years: a World Cup victory.

Fulfilling a childhood dream, Erin finished her final run in a breathtaking 53.59 seconds, becoming the first Canadian woman at the top of the World Cup podium since Betsy Clifford in 1971.

Her breakthrough performance in Germany this week is an inspiration to hundreds of young men and women who take to ski hills across Canada with dreams of victory at the Olympics and other international competitions.

Erin has been representing Canada at international competitions since her debut as a member of Canada's alpine ski team at the 2009 World Cup and as a member of the Canadian Olympic team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

On behalf of the residents of Guelph and all Canadians, I congratulate Erin for her dedication, hard work and superb talent that are responsible not only for her World Cup victory but also her place in the hearts of Canadians.

Les Voltigeurs de QuébecStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we must never forget the contributions and sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. That is why I am proud to rise in the House today to mark the 150th anniversary of the Voltigeurs de Québec, Canada's oldest francophone regiment.

The regiment has participated in many conflicts that helped to define our country. From battles fought by the fledgling Canadian Confederation to the two world wars, and more recently in Afghanistan and on peacekeeping missions, the Voltigeurs have distinguished themselves by their professionalism and their commitment to defending Canadian values.

Today I would like to thank the Voltigeurs for their ongoing service to our country and their contribution to our military heritage.

We remember the sacrifices made by those who have served and those who are serving today.

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities answered “no” to the question about whether aggressive solicitation is a practice supported by the Conservative government.

And yet we know that RMG uses the name of the Conservative Party's telephone fundraising office and that solicitation calls are made from a number cited hundreds of times on websites that list complaints of harassing calls.

To top it all off, we are now beginning to hear from Conservative supporters who feel as though they were taken advantage of. The Conservative Party must take clear action. It must determine which Conservative officials support these practices and impose the necessary sanctions. It must demand that RMG turn over the databases containing the names of people who may have been harassed, take the necessary action and make a public apology.

If it does not, Canadians should consider the little “no” that was so nonchalantly uttered yesterday as another form of contempt for them and, even worse, for the Conservative electorate. There are cases where no—

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are focused on Canadians' priorities: creating jobs and economic growth.

Our government's plan for jobs and growth is on the right track. Earlier this week, the Minister of Finance met with private sector economists. After the meeting, Doug Porter, a Bank of Montreal economist, Doug Porter, said, “Keep on keeping on. The plan is working. The economy is moderately growing and the deficit is coming down”.

Our economic action plan has created over 610,000 net new jobs since the recession ended in July 2009 and 90% of these jobs are full-time jobs. This job creation shows that our plan is on the right track for the Canadian economy and for Canadian families.

However, the global economy is fragile with the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis, with the continuing turmoil in the Middle East and with the sluggish American recovery.

Canada is not immune from these external events, and so our budget on March 29 will stay focused on creating jobs and economic growth because Canadians, like my constituents in Wellington—Halton Hills, have told us that these are their priorities.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for over a week now, the Prime Minister has been denying that his party had any involvement in the robocall scandal. What is worse is that he is blaming others. Tomorrow, members of Parliament will debate an NDP motion to strengthen Elections Canada's authority so that it can obtain all the necessary documents and exert better control over contact with voters.

We want to know whether the Prime Minister supports this NDP initiative and whether he will help us to help Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we do not have any objections to this proposal, but I must point out that the Conservative Party is giving all its information to Elections Canada. Nothing is stopping the NDP from doing the same.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada's investigation now extends to Kingston and other areas. The Conservatives can no longer claim that what happened in Guelph was an isolated incident. We know that they have a very centralized structure, that they have close ties with RMG and that decisions are not made randomly but that everything is systematic.

Is the Prime Minister at all worried about what his people did on his behalf?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all of the calls we made during the election were documented and that information has been made available to Elections Canada. I hope that the NDP has the same documents and that it will also share them with Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has already confirmed that it will submit all the necessary documents.

Last week, the Prime Minister said that the Conservatives never used U.S. based call centres, that only the Liberals had. Perhaps the Liberals used U.S. companies but we now know that his own parliamentary secretary also did in the last election.

I will give the Prime Minister another chance. Does he really stick to his line that only the Liberals used U.S. companies?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have been very clear about the Conservative Party of Canada's activities. All of the calls made by the Conservative Party are documented and all of those records are available to Elections Canada. We will be looking forward with great interest to see what documents exist on the NDP's telephone activities during the campaign.