This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

St. Basil-the-Great College SchoolStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member of Parliament for York West, I am incredibly pleased to recognize the past and present faculty and students of St. Basil-the-Great College School in Toronto as they commemorate their 50th anniversary.

For half a century, St. Basil-the-Great College School has been shaping young minds by transforming children into productive and contributing members of our society. At the same time, the school has become an essential part of the surrounding neighbourhood by demonstrating the cardinal virtues of charity, family and community betterment.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, alumni will come together next week to compare notes, share life stories and to demonstrate how education and their faith have helped make them who they are today.

I look forward to hearing those inspirational stories. I would again congratulate the school on 50 years of making a difference.

Summer in the Park FestivalStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize the continued success of the Summer in the Park Festival in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming.

This year the North Bay waterfront will be visited by thousands when world-famous acts such as Meat Loaf and Marianas Trench take to the stage alongside regional musicians. Local performers also get to step in the spotlight when they participate in the Northern Ontario Open Country Singing Contest.

With so much to do, it is not surprising that Summer in the Park has been named as one of the top 100 festivals in Ontario. Summer in the Park takes place in early August in the beautiful Goulet Golden Mile, named in honour of former North Bay mayor Bruce Goulet. Bruce celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday and is truly a model citizen.

I am very proud of our summer festival and encourage all my fellow members and all Canadians to attend and enjoy the festival in beautiful Nipissing—Timiskaming.

The BudgetStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a member of Parliament, it is my duty here today to denounce Bill C-38 as an affront to democracy.

This bill shows contempt for Canadians. Logically, this bill should be divided into six separate parts and each of those parts should be studied in a parliamentary committee.

Worse still, this bill further reinforces Canadians' distrust, as they no longer have any confidence in the Conservative government.

As parliamentarians, are we going to be forced to ask people to take to the streets to defend democracy? I am beginning to wonder if that is the only solution.

Is there not some way for us to work together in a positive manner, regardless of our political affiliation, in order to get results for Canadians and communities, and to make more compassionate decisions that reflect the wishes of the people we represent?

Arrogance always has its price. If the government goes ahead with Bill C-38, Canadians will remember in 2015.

Medical Imaging Team DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a former medical radiation technologist, I am honoured to stand before members today and call attention to the inaugural Medical Imaging Team Day event taking place on Parliament Hill. Medical Imaging Team Day has been established to recognize the contribution that the imaging team, comprised of physicians, physicists, sonographers and technologists, makes to the Canadian health care system.

Today I salute the following groups that are taking part in Medical Imaging Team Day: the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine, the Canadian Association of Radiologists, the Canadian Interventional Radiology Association, the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists and the Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. I thank these groups for their vital contributions to Canadian health care.

Employment InsuranceStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that at last night's vote, my private member's Bill C-316 passed its third reading and is on its way to the Senate.

This legislation would change the provisions in the Employment Insurance Act that would allow convicted offenders to receive extensions to their EI qualifying and benefit periods that were not available to honest, hard-working Canadians. Bill C-316 would change the law so that people found guilty of crimes would no longer have their qualifying or benefit periods extended by their time spent in jail and no longer give them preferential treatment over honest, hard-working Canadians.

I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill and seeing it pass so we can continue to support Canadians who work hard and obey the law.

Memorial CupStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I stand before the members as a man who has been humbled, following a wager I had with the member for Saint John, whose riding is represented by the Sea Dogs. The Sea Dogs won fair and square and swept l'Océanic de Rimouski in four games.

Therefore, I wish to congratulate the Sea Dogs for an excellent season and wish them good luck representing the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at the Memorial Cup starting very soon in Shawinigan.

So again, congratulations to the Saint John Sea Dogs and best of luck at the Memorial Cup.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Rimouski Océanic on their fantastic season. Most experts expected the Océanic to finish last or second-last in their division. After eliminating Val-d'Or, Blainville-Boisbriand and Halifax, the Océanic made it to the league finals, which is an amazing feat.

I would also like to commend the hard work of three 20-year-old players who now have to leave the team: Alex Belzile of Saint-Éloi, team captain Jean-Philippe Mathieu and Pier-Luc Pelletier. I would also like to thank all the 19-year-old players and the European players who will not be returning. I extend special thanks to the general manager, Philippe Boucher, his assistant, Yannick Dumais, and the head coach, Serge Beausoleil. I would like to thank them all for treating us to some great hockey this season. Thanks again.

Go, Nics, go!

Leader of the New Democratic PartyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP is trying to mislead Canadians and concoct an economic policy that would be bad for Canada's provinces and bad for employment.

The leader of the NDP is fixated on development of our natural resources. He even goes so far as to say that our natural resources have a disease.

According to him, developing natural resources such as fossil fuels in the western provinces is bad for employment in Quebec. The leader of the NDP is wrong. Canada's natural resources are giving us a unique opportunity to create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars that will translate into economic prosperity across the country.

The NDP and its leader are just making things up and trying to divide the country in order to make political gains.

It is totally irresponsible.

Sri LankaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, May 19 marks the third anniversary of the end of the armed conflict of the Sri Lankan civil war. The 26-year conflict saw the death of an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people, and thousands more were displaced from their homes. Many of the displaced, like my family and many of my constituents, fled the country to seek safety in great countries like Canada.

Humanitarian organizations continue their work in postwar Sri Lanka, providing emergency medical relief for the internally displaced. Reports of continuing abductions and torture, systemic lack of basic security for women, increasing lack of freedom of information, illegal settlement of the northern areas and a lack of religious and linguistic freedoms for minorities are ongoing.

The victims on both sides of this conflict have waited too long for justice. On the anniversary of the end of the civil war, New Democrats call upon this government and the world to take firm action to hold Sri Lanka to account and push for an independent inquiry into the allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity took place during this time of conflict.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP was completely wrong when he called northern Ontario's energy industry and the jobs it has created a “disease”. Northern Ontario is a vital part of both Ontario's and Canada's economy. Mining in the Ring of Fire, a growing forest industry and the creation of thousands of new jobs are by no means a disease.

Just as they were silenced from supporting the end of Canada's long gun registry, NDP members from northern Ontario must now accept the demeaning message by their leader for our region. The work their constituents are proud to do is not a disease.

The NDP leader's ill-informed position is dangerous, divisive and downright wrong. We are proud of the work we do in northern Ontario and of our future. I would say to the leader of the NDP that what we do in northern Ontario is not a disease.

International Day Against HomophobiaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, each year on May 17, we recognize the International Day Against Homophobia to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Here in Canada, under Liberal governments, we have seen the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, the legalization of same-sex marriage and the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act.

But we must not rest on our laurels. Homophobia is still too prevalent, and many gay and lesbian youth are still victims of bullying and discrimination, too often leading to tragic consequences. Days like today give our young people hope that it does indeed get better.

We must continue to fight this form of discrimination here and around the world, especially in countries like Uganda, Nigeria and Russia, which have recently implemented homophobic and discriminatory policies.

Today, the Liberal caucus honours those who have fought tirelessly to secure the rights of the LGBTQ community by fighting homophobia here in Canada and around the world.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, for the second time this month, the Premier of Alberta is correcting the federal NDP leader. She is now calling him divisive and ill-informed after his recent comments calling hard-working Albertans a “disease”.

The premier is right: the NDP leader's remarks do not display national leadership. She said that she expects someone would have the courtesy to properly inform themselves instead of making disparaging comments about Alberta and Albertans.

The Deputy Premier also pointed out that Canada's oil sands generate more jobs in Ontario than the auto industry does. The IRPP has confirmed that the auto sector was not impacted by the theories that the NDP leader espouses. His comments calling hard-working Albertans a “disease” are outrageous, ill-informed and unacceptable.

I call upon the NDP leader to apologize to Albertans and stand up for Canadians across this country in every—

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Hamilton Centre.

Employment InsuranceStatements by Members

May 17th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's continued attacks on employment insurance are disingenuous, disrespectful and downright disgraceful.

First the changes to the EI system were hidden in the government's massive Trojan Horse omnibus bill. Then the minister said she would provide details only after the bill is passed. Now it seems that no one across the aisle understands what it is like to struggle to make ends meet after losing a job.

According to the human resources minister, EI makes it “lucrative” for Canadians to stay home and get paid for it.

The Prime Minister once said that people who are unemployed “...don't feel bad about it themselves as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance”.

As well, of course, there is the Minister of Finance, who thinks refereeing hockey games while building a future at law school is the same as a lifetime of back-breaking work in a mine shaft.

It is time the government stopped being part of the unemployment problem and started being part of the solution.

Canadian National Resources LimitedStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian National Resources Limited is a major oil company working at developing the oil sands. One of its largest shareholders is the Régie des rentes du Québec, the board that pays Quebeckers pensions. This oil company currently pays the Régie des rentes enough dividends to cover the pensions of 1,100 Quebeckers.

The NDP leader calls these oil companies a disease. Does he believe that Quebec pensioners are also a disease?

Another example is the Canada Post pension plan, which is invested in oil sands giant Suncor. That company pays back dividends to the pensioners of the Canada Post pension fund.

We cannot harm, therefore, an Alberta energy company without harming the retired postal worker or the Quebec pensioner.

That is why the NDP's campaign of class envy and regional jealousy can never win. From pensioners to workers, east to west, French to English, our destinies are intertwined, our future shared, our country united. We are truly in it together.

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservative government is on a witch hunt. This time, it asked the RCMP to investigate an article shedding light on the untendered procurement process for the F-35 jets. Daniel Leblanc of the Globe and Mail did not reveal national secrets, he revealed a national embarrassment.

The embarrassment is that the Conservative government broke every rule of sound public administration to purchase a plane that does not even work.

Who in the Conservative government ordered the police to investigate a journalist?

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

The Leader of the Opposition's version of the facts is completely false. The fact is that the government is responsible for protecting sensitive information and cabinet documents must remain secret. That is why the Clerk of the Privy Council took appropriate action to protect the public interest.

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, laws on government secrecy exists to protect real national secrets, not embarrassments to the Prime Minister. The article in the Globe and Mail said the government “...is refusing to open up the $16-billion purchase of 65 new fighter jets to a competition because of the potential negative reaction in the United States...”.

The Prime Minister might take issue with the truth, but it does not justify calling the cops, it does not justify intimidating reporters and it certainly does not justify attacking freedom of the press.

Is this the point we have reached in this country—having police investigate journalists who are only doing their jobs?

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all what happened. The government has an obligation to protect sensitive information, and the Clerk of the Privy Council took appropriate action.

Since the Leader of the Opposition raised the question of “national embarrassments”, I am wondering when the Leader of the Opposition will apologize to western Canadians for suggesting that the strength of the western Canadian economy is a “disease” on Canada. He even admitted yesterday that he had not even been to the oil sands in western Canada.

He attacks western Canada, he attacks our energy industry, he attacks all of the west and the great work that is being done by western Canadians to contribute to Canada's national unity. He should be ashamed of himself.

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they are leaving the largest ecological, economic and social debt in history on the backs of future generations. We know what the problem is. It is the way we are developing them.

No one is saying we should not develop the oil sands. We are saying we don't—

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. Order, please.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder the Conservatives received the Canadian award for most secretive government in history a couple of weeks ago from our journalists, but this is not run-of-the-mill Conservative secrecy. It is vindictive, it is vicious and it is illegal. One government department went so far as to check the home address of Globe and Mail reporter Daniel Leblanc.

Why? Why is the public service being enlisted to run a witch hunt on journalists?

Confidentiality of InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all what happened, and the Leader of the Opposition is not going to change the subject.

The fact is, the Leader of the Opposition is attacking western Canada when it comes to our national resources. The Premier of Alberta, the Premier of Saskatchewan and thePremier of British Columbia are calling out the Leader of the Opposition for his unwarranted attack on western Canada, on our energy industry and on the thousands of jobs it is creating across Western Canada.

He should be ashamed of himself for attacking the west, dividing this country, and not even having visited the places he is attacking. It is unconscionable for someone who wants to be the prime minister of the country to be so utterly irresponsible.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, 500,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs have been lost because we are not enforcing legislation. We are not enforcing the navigable waters act. We are not enforcing the migratory birds act. We are not enforcing the Fisheries Act. We are allowing these companies to use the air, the soil and the water as an unlimited free dumping ground. Their model for development is Nigeria instead of Norway. We know what we want: it is sustainable development to protect future generations.

Yesterday we found out another part of the government's development process: telling teachers and therapists in Newfoundland to go work in the mines. Is that the Conservatives' idea of an economy—telling people that they have to go work in the mines, telling them that they are lazy Newfoundlanders?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, there he goes again, attacking the west and he has not even been there.

He wants to talk about job creation. We are more than glad to talk about job creation. Under our Prime Minister and our government, 750,000 jobs have been created. There are 90% of those jobs that are full-time jobs and 80% of those jobs that are in the private sector. As a matter of fact, just in the last two months the Canadian economy has created more jobs than at any other time in more than 30 years. That is the Conservative record.

The NDP approach is to attack the west, divide Canadians and attack parts of this country that he has never even been to. He should be ashamed of himself.