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House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Resumption of Debate on Opposition MotionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, I look back and see that the apology has been made by the Prime Minister on behalf of the government. It was made with very much respect and in front of thousands of people. Many people I speak to are very proud of the fact that their government has apologized. He is the first Prime Minister to do so.

It is time to move on. It is time to educate others about what happened in that incident. We have provided funding for a museum, for online projects, for books and for a monument.

I can only think that the NDP is bringing this up now as a political ploy. It is unfortunate that it would bring such an emotional issue up as a matter of politics.

The apology has been made, with respect, in front of thousands of people.

Resumption of Debate on Opposition MotionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a brief question and a comment first.

If my memory is right and if history is right, the bill or the order in council that prohibited the Komagata Maru from landing, resulting in all those people not only losing their lives but being treated in such a terrible manner as their ship docked in the harbour, was passed in Parliament. It was an official government action.

It is my belief that the Prime Minister going out to speak at an event and making a pronouncement was a political speech. Whenever we have apologized for the wrongs that we have done to others, as history shows, it has been done through an apology in this House.

My question to my hon. colleague is this: if the government is willing to acknowledge out on a stage that what Canada did was a historical wrong, why will it not apologize in here and let us close this chapter so that truth and reconciliation can proceed?

Resumption of Debate on Opposition MotionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is unfortunate that the NDP would bring this up as a political issue and misinform Canadians.

Apologies have been made outside of the House for other incidents as well, other government actions. Those apologies were made with respect, in the same way as this one.

I have been honoured to table in this House the apology that the Prime Minister delivered in front of thousands of people in British Columbia. The apology was official. It was made in front of thousands of people. It was made where the incident took place. I am proud to be a part of a government that has made that apology.

Resumption of Debate on Opposition MotionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I look to the minister because there is a great deal of merit for the Prime Minister to stand in his place inside the House. I do not see the drawback as to why thePrime Minister would not want to do that. It is not a question of political partisanship.

The Komagata Maru is something that political parties of all stripes have recognized as an issue. The Prime Minister and even the minister himself have indicated that they are potentially prepared to apologize inside the House.

My question is this: when can we anticipate that we would see the Prime Minister make some sort of a formal apology inside the House? Does he see that happening any time in the future?

There are many members of the Indo-Canadian community who are happy that the Prime Minister did make the apology out in British Columbia, but there are many members who—

Resumption of Debate on Opposition MotionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but time is limited. We need to give some time to the Minister of State to respond.

The hon. Minister of State.

Resumption of Debate on Opposition MotionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, again I am very proud that an official apology has been made. However, it is also important to look at what I mean by “let us move on”. What I mean is that we should educate Canadians about what happened in that incident.

I am a second generation Canadian, but my family history also goes quite far back into British Columbia. I think it is important that we have educational tools to teach people and to tell them what happened. At some point, I would like to take my daughter to that museum and to the monument of the Komagata Maru incident and tell her what happened.

What is important is to educate Canadians. That is exactly what this government has done. It has apologized and moved to educate Canadians about it.

Emergency Medical Services WeekStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in the House today and call attention to Emergency Medical Services Week, which will take place next week.

There are over 30,000 paramedics from coast to coast who are represented by the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada. Paramedics are the third largest health care provider group in Canada. They serve on the front lines of health care in every community across our nation providing essential care. They are a reliable and constant presence in most remote and rural areas, as well as in our largest cities. Every day, the efforts of the communications staff, paramedics and support staff make a real difference to someone in someone's community.

Emergency Medical Services Week 2012 salutes the men and women of Canada's emergency medical services. I invite hon. members to join me in celebrating the lifelong dedication of emergency medical services professionals to keep Canadians safe.

Canada Summer GamesStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, mark your calendar. From August 2 to 17, 2013, Canada's best athletes will converge on my riding, Sherbrooke, to participate in the Canada Summer Games. We will be proud to welcome them to our community, and I invite all of you to join us for this major sporting event.

The games were first held in 1967 and have become the largest multi-sport competition for young Canadians. This year, 4,200 athletes will compete in 20 different disciplines over the course of two weeks. Under the motto, “Unity through Sport”, the games bring together young Canadian athletes to promote healthy lifestyles, perseverance, fun, team spirit, pushing one's limits and knowledge of Canada's diverse regions and cultures.

The organizers hope to recruit more than 5,000 volunteers. I therefore invite everyone to apply at jeuxducanada2013.ca.

On behalf of the people of Sherbrooke, I invite you to come cheer on our athletes, discover Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships, and, as they say, “get in the games”.

Kindred Spirit AwardStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year, Kitchener celebrates its 100th anniversary as a city. On June 10, 1912, the town of Berlin became the city of Kitchener, my lifetime home.

Our dynamic city and many public-spirited, hard-working people make me proud to be the member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre.

Just this past week, two Kitchener residents, Randy Rollo and Tara McTeer, were honoured with the Kindred Spirit Award from the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre, ROOF, Ray of Hope and the YWCA for their support of the homeless. Both Randy and Tara experienced homelessness and now they give back to those facing similar obstacles.

Randy helped to start the Out of the Cold Shelter program and has volunteered since 1999. Tara is a health worker at Mary's Place and volunteers with many organizations in Kitchener. They are evidence of Kitchener's greatest asset, our generous and hard-working people.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to recognize the hard work and dedication of Lisa Murphy who is stepping down after 22 years as executive director of the P.E.I. Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

One of her many strengths was that, as a leader, she was also a great listener and empathized with all who walked through her door. As a result, she made such a difference for women in distress and not only fought their cases but worked to better their lives in general.

She was a key member on the premier's action committee on family violence prevention and has worked tirelessly on issues, such as family law and legal aid reform, maintenance enforcement, legislative reviews, voter guides and efforts to have women's unpaid work count. In her own right, Lisa is an accomplished artist.

On behalf of the House of Commons, I congratulate Lisa Murphy and extend to her a sincere thanks for her dedication to advocating for women's rights and promoting women's issues on Prince Edward Island and in Canada.

HockeyStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one week ago today, Londoners of all ages created a night to remember. The London Knights defeated the Niagara Ice Dogs to win the Ontario Hockey League Championship.

The Knights' OHL championship run began with a sweep of the Windsor Spitfires, a six-game series win against Saginaw, a sweep of the Kitchener Rangers and finally, in front of a capacity crowd at the John Labatt Centre, located in my riding of London North Centre, the Knights defeated the Niagara Ice Dogs in five games to win the OHL Championship.

I congratulate Mark and Dale Hunter and the entire London Knights organization, especially forward, Austin Watson, who won the Wayne Gretzky 99 trophy as the OHL playoff MVP.

On behalf of all members of this House, I wish the Knights well as they move on to the Memorial Cup in Shawinigan. They won the cup in 2005 and I know they can do it again this year. I believe I speak for all Londoners when I say, “Go Knights, go”.

Montcalm Volunteer OrganizationStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the invaluable contribution made by the Regroupement bénévole de Montcalm to the vitality of my riding.

Since 1985, this organization has played a key role in the social development of the people of Montcalm. This organization promotes volunteerism within the community and is well known for its innovative services and its ability to stir people to action.

The Regroupement bénévole de Montcalm is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the people of our community. It fulfills this noble mission remarkably well and the entire community benefits as a result. The organization successfully meets the many needs of the public, through the development of ambitious programs in many areas of activity, for example.

The Regroupement bénévole de Montcalm has become a voice for social justice, respect, solidarity and the promotion of volunteerism. The way it reaches out to the people of Montcalm is key to its success.

Katie Cares FoundationStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, I had the honour of presenting the Diamond Jubilee Medal to 15-year-old Kaitlyn Reimer who was recognized for her impact on those around her.

From a young age, Kaitlyn has been a positive force in the community, from volunteering for Special Olympics to cheering on her teammates. Kaitlyn is known for her humble character, which deflects attention from herself and onto others in need.

In 2010, Kaitlyn's life and that of her family was changed when she was diagnosed with cancer. Determined to make a difference, she started the Katie Cares Foundation to raise money for toys, furniture and games for children in the hospital.

Kaitlyn and her foundation still raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer across southern Manitoba. As Kaitlyn continues her fight with cancer, her most important wish is that her foundation grows and helps families.

Because of her caring and positive attitude, Kaitlyn is an inspiration to so many. Her kindness will never be forgotten. We love Katie very much.

Canadian National Institute for the BlindStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, this May, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind wants to make vision health awareness a priority for all Canadians. Seventy-five percent of vision loss is avoidable and yet every 12 minutes in Canada someone loses their vision.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, with over one million Canadians having some form of AMD, including individuals within my riding of Simcoe—Grey. The number of Canadians who experience vision loss is forecasted to double over the next 20 years.

As demographics change in Canada, the cost of vision loss is going to rise, making our health care system even more overburdened and taking a greater toll on Canadians.

In 2011, the Government of Canada announced over $7 million to support the CNIB in its accessible library services, and our government is continuing to support the CNIB and its important work for Canadians.

The CNIB and Vision 220 Canada are working to create a vision plan care for Canada, and I encourage all parliamentarians to advocate for this important health issue.

Rose FestivalStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, this coming June, the city of Welland will host its 51st annual Rose Festival.

Every year, Welland, aptly named the rose city of Canada, hosts this festival to encourage community spirit, involvement and pride through many free events and activities.

I wish to recognize this event as it is important to the citizens who live throughout the entire Niagara area. I encourage all members of the community to take part in the wide range of events, including the popular run for the roses and the rose parade.

I also wish to recognize the organizers and coordinators who help to make this event possible, including the president, Jeff Ward; the parade chair, Larry LaRose; the coronation chair, Diane Freeman; and the art show chair, Sam Adams. These outstanding individuals are unpaid volunteers who truly make the festival an existing and worthwhile experience for all. Their level of devotion to preserving cultural heritage and natural beauty is appreciated by all members of the Welland community.

I invite all members of this House to join me in recognizing the hundreds of community festivals happening right across the country and all of the hard-working volunteers who make them happen.

Rose LaxStatements By Members

May 18th, 2012 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the nations of Canada and Israel, and, indeed, the Jewish community in Hamilton and around the world, lost a remarkable friend at the end of April with the sudden passing of Rose Lax.

Remarkable because she was born in a displaced persons camp to survivors of the Holocaust and yet grew to become an individual lauded for having changed the Jewish political landscape of North America.

Remarkable because of her tireless work to empower university students against the scourge of anti-Semitism on campuses.

Remarkable because Israeli member of the Knesset, Bennie Begin, son of the sixth Israeli prime minister, spoke of the very special connection he felt with Rose and the Lax family since the time of his parents.

We lost a woman of outstanding character and heart in Rose Lax. I, along with my colleagues, the Hon. Stockwell Day and the member for Nepean—Carleton, offer our sincere condolences to Rose's family.

EducationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to share the outstanding achievement of two teams of students at Gladstone Secondary School in Vancouver Kingsway who won first and second prize at the VEX Robotics High School World Championship in Anaheim, California.

Under the guidance of dedicated teachers, Todd Ablett and Paul Wallace, the students combined hundreds of hours of extra work, creativity and a competitive spirit to become the first Canadian team in history to bring home the top prize.

This achievement underscores the importance of a strong public education system in our country. It also demonstrates the critical need to support science and technology in our economy.

Given the opportunity, resources and support, our youth can outshine any team in the world. The bright ideas of our youth today will be the transformative innovations that build the Canada of tomorrow.

I congratulate Gladstone Secondary School and all who participated in this competition on their brilliant success. They have done us all proud.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the NDP leader, resource sector workers are a disease. He falsely claims that they are costing Canada jobs elsewhere.

I will set the record straight. Ontario's economy benefits from the development of its own natural resources and, in manufacturing, for the resources sector across the country. Nationally, in 2010, the natural resource sectors employed over 760,000 workers.

Resource development is an important component to the economy and creates hundreds of thousands of direct, indirect and induced jobs across the country.

The NDP leader's politics of division, pitting one region of the country against others and his ill-informed remarks show that his foolish economic policy will raise prices and cost Canadians jobs.

Haitian Flag DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on January 1, 1804, the Republic of Haiti was born. A few months earlier, on May 18, 1803, Haiti adopted a revolutionary flag, which has been the pride of the Haitian people ever since.

Every year, May 18 marks Haiti's anniversary of becoming the first republic in the world to be created out of a slave rebellion. I would like to express the importance of this day to the Haitian diaspora in Canada, especially in the national capital region.

Canadians of Haitian origin have been settling on both sides of the Ottawa River for a long time. Today, Ottawa's Haitian community is more than 20,000 strong. The Haitian diaspora contributes to all sectors of activity, with a notable presence in education, culture, health and law.

On this May 18, 2012, let us celebrate the rich contribution that Canadians of Haitian origin have made to Canada's success.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP was completely wrong when he started to attack Canada's energy and natural resources sector.

In my home province of Manitoba, mining is the second largest industry, directly employing over 6,100 people, particularly in the north.

Manitoba's NDP premier said that the province's mining industry was “providing high-paying jobs and supporting our northern communities”. Unbelievably, the federal NDP leader believes these jobs are a disease.

It is now time for Manitoba NDP MPs, such as the member for Winnipeg Centre and the member for Churchill, to tell the House if they think the work their constituents are doing is a disease.

Minister of Canadian HeritageStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Museum of Science and Technology opened an exhibit called “sex”, an exhibit the Minister of Canadian Heritage called “insulting to taxpayers”.

Ironically, the minister's insults did not dissuade the public. It had the opposite effect of doubling opening day turnout.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the minister has publicly insulted Canada's curators. In 2010, the minister disparaged the National Gallery when he encouraged citizens to “vote with their wallets” and skip the Pop Life exhibit.

Canada's minister of culture and heritage should have the capacity to represent the diversity of culture in Canada, not just his own dogma. More important, he should not be using the museum as an opportunity to belittle curators or as a rallying cry for his base.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

Talk about belittling Canadians, Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader has decided to stick with his stance against the hard-working Canadians who make their living in Canada's energy sector. My constituents in Alberta, who work hard to provide for their families in the sector, do not think what they do is considered a disease. The NDP leader is ill-informed. This industry creates jobs and economic growth in Alberta and across the country. The oil sands are also projected to create $783 billion in tax revenue across Canada in the next 25 years.

It is absolutely unfathomable why the NDP leader would choose to call this sector of our economy a disease. The NDP needs only to look to the Liberal Party to see what happens when a political party denigrates the hard-working people in our country's energy sector.

I wonder, does the member for Edmonton—Strathcona agree with her leader? Does she too think this is a fair thing to say about the hard-working people in Alberta?

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, for months now Conservatives have refused to come clean about their plans to cut old age security. The finance minister claimed that the only projections he has seen have come from the media. Now we learn that the finance minister has been sitting on a report about the future costs of OAS for nearly five years, but refuses to share it with Canadians. Two elections, four budgets, one big cover-up.

Why are Canadians only now learning the truth?

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, of course, that report was never completed because at the time we were entering an economic downturn and the focus of our government was on the economic stimulus, our economic action plan. That focus worked because we produced 750,000 net new jobs since the economic downturn. That was our focus for Canadians: ensuring jobs, growth and economic prosperity in the short and medium term. We are now turning our focus to ensuring income security for the long term. That is why we are making changes to make old age security sustainable.

PensionsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, six years ago when the Prime Minister was out on the campaign trail, he promised Canadians he would not cut OAS. Back then he said, “fully preserve old age security and all projected future increases”. Now we learn the truth. Conservatives were always planning to cut OAS as far back as 2007, yet never once did they come clean with Canadians. Canadians pay faithfully into their pensions. Canadians paid for this report.

Will the Conservatives stop burying their cuts in their Trojan Horse budget bill and stop burying this report?