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House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of our national anthem led by the hon. member for Kitchener—Conestoga.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Post-Secondary EducationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians try to pay their way through post-secondary education while they are working full- or part-time jobs. They have bills at home, so they cannot afford not to work. They know that they must continue to try to get an education.

Our Conservative government is helping them. We are increasing the income eligibility thresholds for part-time student loans and grants for the next 10 years. Over 2,500 additional part-time students will be eligible for a Canada student loan in year one and 8,000 in year five. Nearly 500 additional part-time students will receive a Canada student grant in year one, rising to about 1,500 in year five and ongoing.

This new measure will help more low- and middle-income Canadians get an education while working. These are hard-working Canadians of all ages who are trying to get ahead and improve themselves. They have no one to help them, yet they are willing to work hard at their jobs and at school. These are great young Canadians building our nation. I am proud to be a member of the government that is helping them out.

EmploymentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Paulina Ayala NDP Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the phone in my riding office has been ringing off the hook for days. Many workers in eastern Montreal who now are unemployed because the government failed to take action to protect their jobs—people who worked at Aveos but also at other companies—are now getting another slap in the face. They studied for years to specialize in aeronautics and other fields only to have their jobs moved elsewhere, despite the commitments made by the government and Air Canada. Now, they are being told that the rules have changed and that they must forget their training and not expect to get another job in their field.

This government, which criticizes interventionism, is now imposing career choices on Canadians. It is threatening the future careers of workers in order to prevent them from accessing employment insurance. That is unacceptable, and we are going to fight this abuse of power.

Safe City MississaugaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to Safe City Mississauga, our city's excellent crime prevention organization. This association is led by Victor Oh, chair, and Teresa Burgess-Olgivie, executive director, who is joining us in Ottawa.

Safe City Mississauga is celebrating a 20 year legacy in our community of crime prevention. It conducts research into the causes of crime, develops evidence-based ways to approach them, and pilots new projects and program offerings to prevent crime.

I am proud to have been the founding chair of Safe City Mississauga and to have seen it grow and prosper through a number of important programs, including Neighbourhood Watch, Counter-Act, Aspire at risk neighbourhood program, and through hosting an annual crime prevention forum and justice luncheon.

Our communities will only be safer when we all pitch in to help. It is through the work of Safe City Mississauga and its partners that Mississauga continues to be the safest city in Canada.

Child NutritionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada signed the UN Declaration on Nutrition, which says access to adequate and safe food is a right. Despite this, 40% of Toronto's students go to school hungry and Canada remains the only developed country without a national nutrition program. Hungry children may stop growing; they cannot learn; they may be undereducated; and, later in life, they may not reach their full potential.

Eating breakfast boosts behaviour, grades and graduation rates, while curbing sick days and suspensions. We must ensure that every child gets a healthy start each morning to help enhance their learning opportunities in school and their personal health.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association is asking the Canadian School Boards Association to lobby the federal government for a nutrition program. Let us end child hunger in Canada. As Buzz Aldrin says, if we can conquer space, we can conquer child hunger.

Memorial Cup Hockey TournamentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to the upcoming Memorial Cup hockey tournament. The Memorial Cup is dedicated to honour the soldiers who died in the First World War in service for Canada. It was rededicated to honour all servicemen and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for this great country in all conflicts in 2010.

The series begins this Friday in Shawinigan, with representation from the three Canadian major junior hockey leagues and the host team. It is recognized as the final step in winning the most difficult title in hockey: the Canadian Hockey League Championship.

The reason that I raise this today is because the defending champions, the Saint John Sea Dogs, are from my riding of Saint John. They are back to defend their national title. They are representing the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as the President's Cup champions for the second straight season. The Sea Dogs have been tremendous ambassadors who have represented Saint John with such pride and distinction. I want to wish them the very best, and I look forward to celebrating with their many fans.

University of Windsor LancersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud today to have the opportunity to congratulate the University of Windsor's women's basketball team. It recently captured its second consecutive Bronze Baby trophy, awarded to the CIS champion in women's basketball. Lancer basketball, under the inspirational leadership of coach Chantal Vallée, has ascended to the elite of CIS athletics. It is the unquestioned benchmark in women's university basketball in Canada. The Lancers earned this championship by bringing together a squad that includes a strong mix of local Canadian and international talent. They embody the qualities of the community that supported them: a strong work ethic, determination, consistency and poise.

This second title in as many years is a result of the ongoing devotion of a committed coaching staff and team, an exceptional athletic department, strong institutional support and fiercely loyal fans whose faith remained unshakable. It is with tremendous pride that I rise to congratulate the entire Lancer nation on the occasion of our second consecutive national title for women's basketball.

St. Catharines FalconsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Sutherland Cup is a trophy awarded each year to the champions of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. It is the highest team award for players in a junior B age group. On May 4, I attended the deciding game of the Sutherland Cup finals. I am honoured to inform the House that this season, for the first time in their 44 year history, the St. Catharines Falcons are the Sutherland Cup champions.

After a challenging road to the finals, where the Falcons defeated London while facing elimination, the Falcons once again showed their perseverance and determination by winning four consecutive games against Brantford after losing the first two. For many Falcons like Riley Jakobschuk who led the tournament in goals; Johnson Andrews who led the tournament in points; and St. Catharines' own Kenny Bradford, their captain, this was their last game at this level and it was a fine way to go out.

I would like to congratulate all the Falcon players and coaches who helped bring the Sutherland Cup to St. Catharines. We look forward to defending the cup next year. The Mountainview Homes Falcons from St. Catharines are champions in the junior B.

Community Living PeterboroughStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2010 our government was pleased to partner with Community Living Peterborough through a federal grant from Status of Women Canada to establish a young women's leadership group. This group of young women living with an intellectual disability received various training workshops in public speaking and leadership skills. As a result of the training, they conducted information sessions for various target groups in the Peterborough community. They increased awareness and communicated the importance of issues facing women who live with an intellectual disability, by helping the community understand its role in building a more inclusive Peterborough.

The program enabled them to build self-confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills. In return, they have inspired my community to be even more inclusive. Their transformation has been incredible and their impact on the community profoundly positive. Please join me in congratulating some of these brave and inspirational young women visiting today. I thank Laura Challice, Jessica Coull, Meagan Glaeser and Katie Galloro as well as project coordinator Krista Bailey and director of operations Barb Hiland for their incredible work.

Community Development in l'AssomptionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean-François Larose NDP Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, the CDC—Corporation de développement communautaire—in l'Assomption regional municipality is an umbrella organization for community groups. To achieve the objectives of its members, the CDC coordinates, represents and supports community groups working for the good of my riding.

The CDC brings together its members in order to promote a better quality of life for the people and to contribute to the community's development. It raises awareness and favours the community approach as a model for intervention. Since I was elected, I been watching the CDC in action, and I can assure you that this organization works hard. That is why I support the CDC.

Thanks to the CDC's hard work, community organizations are reaching more people. By working together, we will ensure that everyone can take their rightful place in society.

National Mining WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize National Mining Week which celebrates the important role that mining plays in the lives of Canadians. Our mining industry has been a cornerstone of Canada's economy for generations, shaping our national identity with benefits for all regions.

The numbers tell the story. Canada produces more than 60 minerals and metals and is one of the world's leading exporters. Canadians are experts in all areas of mining, everything from mine design, extraction and processing to mine closure and rehabilitation.

Our government is focused on responsible development of Canada's natural resources to create jobs, economic growth and future prosperity. We are attracting investment, supporting innovation, opening new markets and improving the regulatory system for major mining projects. I ask hon. members to join me to support mining communities in Canada and around the world.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, 35 years ago, Parliament passed legislation making discrimination against women in the workplace illegal. The legislation states that wage disparities between male and female employees who perform work of equal value are discriminatory.

In 2009, instead of proposing proactive measures for women who are still fighting for pay equity, the Conservative government took a step backward and passed the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act, which effectively takes away the right to pay equity.

From Bell Canada employees to public service clerks and Canada Post employees, these women have had to fight for decades to get compensation.

The Conservatives refuse to recognize wage discrimination and are attacking women yet again in their budget by eliminating employment equity as it applies to federal contracts.

The right to pay equity is a fundamental, non-negotiable right. It is high time that the government passed federal pay equity legislation.

Food ShortagesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, today the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food held a press conference that clearly showed his lack of understanding for our society and our country.

As a proud northerner, I was very insulted that the foreign academic did not visit a single northern community in Canada during his two week vacation here. It is too bad he was not able to see how uninformed international attacks on the seal hunt have made it harder for aboriginal hunters to earn a livelihood. Our government is surprised that the organization is focused on what appears to be a political agenda rather than on addressing food shortages in the developing world.

By the United Nations' own measure, Canada ranks sixth best of all the world's countries on their human development index. Canadians donate significant funding to address poverty and hunger around the world. We find it unacceptable that these resources are not being used to address food shortages in the countries they are needed the most.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the fourth anniversary of the imprisonment of the Baha'i leadership, where the 20 year sentence is a virtual death sentence, reminding us of the systemic and systematic persecution and prosecution of the Baha'is, itself a case study in Iranian injustice.

While the world is understandably focused on the Iranian nuclear threat, we must not ignore the massive domestic repression in Iran, particularly as it finds expression in the criminalization and demonization of Iran's largest minority, and the silencing and imprisonment of all human rights voices and the lawyers who would defend them, the whole constitutive of crimes against humanity in Iran.

Accordingly, we have been engaged in this Iran accountability week, wherein parliamentarians from all parties participated in a take note debate Monday to expose and unmask these massive human rights violations, adopted a unanimous resolution of condemnation in subcommittee yesterday and in tonight's forum will continue to champion the Iranian people's case and cause to let them know that they are not alone and that we stand with them in solidarity in their brave and just cause for freedom.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Delta—Richmond East B.C.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, recently the NDP leader announced his new shadow cabinet. He has appointed the member for Newton—North Delta as the immigration critic. Before running for the NDP, that member was known for her time as the radical teachers' union president who led a two-week long illegal strike. Under her leadership, her union was forced to pay a $500,000 fine for contempt of court. As another union boss among the NDP ranks, the member put the interests of British Columbian students and families last.

The NDP leader's decision to include her along with so many others in his inner circle demonstrates he is not committed to putting Canadian families first.

The NDP threatens dangerous economic experiments, job-killing taxes and reckless spending we simply cannot afford. It has demonstrated a disturbing willingness to put the interests of a narrow band of activists ahead of the interests of ordinary Canadian families.

Government AccountabilityStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their government to answer questions about public policy decisions they make and be accountable to Parliament and the public.

However, when we questioned the environment minister last night, he refused to answer even the most basic questions. He could not tell us how many times staff had been dispatched to environmental emergencies in the past three years, and he is cutting 40% of those positions.

The minister refused to say why the government was dismantling the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, who it consulted about this closure, who would replace the work and how many research requests the government gave it. He even refused to say how many times the round table's climate prosperity report had been downloaded.

Last night was further proof that the arrogant Conservative government has simply abandoned any notion of openness or being accountable to Canadians. Canadians want a transparent and open government. Canadians need transparency and accountability in our democracy. That is just what they will get in 2015 when Canadians vote to get rid of this secretive, unethical and unaccountable government.

Transboundary Waters Protection ActStatements By Members

May 16th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today I was pleased to join with my colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as he confirmed the government's support for my private member's bill on bulk water removal.

Bill C-383 proposes stronger measures to prevent the bulk removal of water from Canada and strengthens enforcement provisions and penalties. It also delivers on a long-standing government commitment. My bill would reaffirm the Prime Minister's commitment to sovereignty over our water. Canadians need to know that our water is not for sale, and Bill C-383 would achieve that.

I have spoken to some opposition members who have expressed their support for this bill. I hope there will be continued support for it as it is debated more in the House.

The bill respects provincial sovereignty when it comes to water issues. We will continue to work with our provincial and territorial partners to ensure that Canada's freshwater is protected.

I am very happy to have such great support for the bill. I hope all members will support Bill C-383 when it comes up for debate next month.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister said that there are no reductions to old age security in this budget. This pamphlet on the budget, which was one of the supplementary documents the government tabled in this House with the budget, gives a detailed explanation of the cuts the Conservatives want to make to Canadians' retirement income. Of course, this document is missing one vital piece of information—a number, which is also not found in the budget itself.

Exactly how much money do the Conservatives plan to take directly from pensioners?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, there are no cuts to people's pensions. Canadian pensioners know that. On the contrary, next year, they will have the option of delaying their participation in the program, thereby increasing their benefits.

This government has been very clear: we are ensuring the long-term sustainability of this program for future generations.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how can the Prime Minister claim that these cuts are intended to make old age security sustainable when the Conservatives cannot even tell us how much their cuts are supposed to save? The truth is this is not about sustainability; this about forcing seniors to work until they are 67 years old or else they will not be able to retire with dignity.

I have a very simple question. Leaving aside the fact that the Parliamentary Budget Officer and other experts have all concluded that the system is sustainable, if the Conservatives really believe old age security is unsustainable, how much do they need to cut to make it sustainable?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it does bear repeating that there are no reductions to old age security or other pensions in this budget. On the contrary, these things have been protected as we balance the budget.

There will be no change as well to eligibility until the year 2023. In fact, between now and that time, and in fact after that time, the government's spending on old age security and guaranteed income supplement will continue to rise, but will rise in a way that is affordable and sustainable for future generations.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the Minister of Public Safety stood by a Conservative decision to roll out the red carpet for a Chinese company called Huawei.

Huawei will be allowed to buy up key telecommunications assets in Canada, despite the fact that the United States and Australia have blocked it from major telecom projects due to serious national security concerns.

The United States and Australia are two of our closest allies. They still see the risk. Why did the Prime Minister choose to ignore their warnings?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP is speaking of some contractual relationships between some Canadian companies and foreign companies. The particular concerns that he raised in fact have been addressed. Those concerns have been examined and those concerns have been addressed in our mind.

I would remind the leader of the NDP that we do not take dictates on security from the United States.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows the government's own information security was compromised last year by attacks from Chinese servers. Yet when the Prime Minister visited China, he was honoured to meet with Huawei, despite the Americans preventing Huawei from taking over any major telecom companies or participating in infrastructure projects. Its concern is obvious. It does not want this company getting back door access to its communications infrastructure.

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell us, in the House today, what does he know about this company that the Americans do not know?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the member is that all carriers will continue to be subject to Canadian law. We will continue to ensure that Canadians can rely on a telecommunications infrastructure that is safe and secure.

What the hon. member did not state, nor did the CBC in its story state, is that in the same memo cited by the CBC, my official stated that despite the concerns, “I want to stress that Public Safety Canada's is not in opposition to the auction”.