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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

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

[Members sang the national anthem]

BowlingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, this coming weekend, I have the great honour of coaching four exceptionally talented young girls from British Columbia at the national youth bowling five pin championships.

Portia Eldaun, Macenzi Lukkar, Kally Campbell and Janaya White, all from Sparwood, will represent British Columbia in the bantam girls division.

These four young girls who are between the ages of 8 and 10 have worked hard to get to where they are and to be able to participate in a national competition.

The national championships are being hosted by the great province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I encourage anyone who will be out in the St. John's area on May 5, 6 and 7 to come out to the local five pin bowling centres and watch the best youth bowlers in Canada compete for national titles.

I wish all the competitors and coaches good luck.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, one year after the majority Conservative government came to power, the Quebec nation's worst fears are coming true.

This government is bulldozing its way through its legislative agenda with military efficiency. Its model of justice and democratic reform have led to a litigious relationship with Quebec.

The Conservative government is pursuing an all-Canadian economic policy that supports the industries it likes, while turning its back on Aveos, Electrolux, Mabe, RockTenn and others. It is ripping up the Kyoto agreement and once again preparing to centralize the regulation of financial markets in Toronto.

The other federalist parties are also complicit in Canada's management. Blithely appointing a Supreme Court judge and an Auditor General who are not bilingual, celebrating the failure to award contracts to the Davie shipyard, and increasing the number of bills that intrude into Quebec's jurisdiction show once again that Quebec is being neglected.

The Bloc Québécois is going back to work, with heart and soul, to plan a Quebec that is the master of its own destiny and to share that vision.

Jean-Guy MoreauStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the man of a thousand voices left us yesterday. Jean-Guy Moreau gave his last show one Friday in April 2012 at the Théâtre de la Ville, in Longueuil, not far from where I live.

The predecessor of today's great impersonators, Jean-Guy Moreau liked to think of himself as an impressionist, and he had an uncanny talent for assuming the personality of his subjects, whom he impersonated to a tee by capturing their very essence.

A great catalyst for the evolution of Quebec society, from the Quiet Revolution to present times, Jean-Guy Moreau accompanied us to the end. I would like to quote his friend, Robert Charlebois: “An entire chapter of Quebec's history has left us.”

He was a true gem of Quebec culture. We will never forget his masterful parody of the great classic by his friend Robert Charlebois, when he took on the mannerisms and personality of René Lévesque and sang, “Chu rien qu'un gars ben ordinaire”, “I'm just an ordinary guy”.

Our thoughts are with his children, Véronique, Antoine and Sophie. His daughter Sophie recently published a biography of her father entitled Jean-Guy Moreau 50 ans,1 000 visages.

All that remains to be said is “Thank you, Jean-Guy Moreau”. You were anything but ordinary.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, one year ago, Canadians elected a strong, stable, national majority government. That government offered Canadians a responsible fiscal plan, economic leadership and a track record of keeping our great country afloat during turbulent economic times.

Instead of raising taxes on everything with a job destroying carbon tax or adding regulations, Canadians chose lower taxes to stimulate jobs and growth.

Thanks to the policies of our government, Canada has become one of the freest economies in the world, as rated by the Fraser Institute. As a result, we are one of the best countries in the world to open a business and create jobs.

We want to cut the tax burden, not raise taxes and cut opportunity. We want to lower the tax rates on all families, all the way up the income ladder, so each of us will have a greater incentive to work harder, climb higher and help Canada grow.

I am proud to sit as a government member and I look forward to implementing our low tax, low debt agenda to ensure Canada remains the envy of the world and a creator of wealth and opportunity for all Canadians.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

May 2nd, 2012 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Liberal Party is becoming the most open party in the history of Canadian politics by bringing all Liberal supporters into the fold.

During our biennial convention in January, Liberal delegates voted in favour of making historic changes to the structure of the party by creating a new category of Liberal supporter, thereby giving all Canadians the chance to express their support for the Liberal Party and to choose its next leader.

The launch of this initiative marks the beginning of an new phase in the rebuilding of our party. In the coming days, Liberals across the country will be motivating and recruiting Liberal supporters.

Supporters will be part of a new generation of Liberals who will help modernize and develop our party as we look towards the 2015 election, by promoting change and developing a progressive policy platform that reflects the wishes of Canadians.

We encourage all Canadians who value growth, hope and equal opportunity to join us in building the Liberal movement and a better Canada.

Automobile IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has done more than any other federal government to ensure a vibrant auto sector in Canada with: historic R and D funding for lighter, fuel-efficient, safer vehicles; a major investment in Ford's Essex engine plant and a new third shift of high-paying jobs; major border funding for expanded trade and just-in-time delivery; a Canada-U.S. beyond-the-border pact to further harmonize regulations and secure long-term speedy access for car makers and suppliers; and low taxes that fuel reinvestment in technology and products to keep autoworkers on the job.

Most important, when the global recession sideswiped our economy, our government stood by autoworkers, their families and communities by helping Chrysler and GM restructure.

However, the NDP, with so many CAW bosses on its front bench, voted against every measure to support autoworkers.

Our government is getting the job done for the auto sector.

50th Quebec GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to show my support for Drummondville's bid to host the 50th Quebec Games in 2015.

The city would be proud to host the Quebec Games, and an enthusiastic, dynamic bid committee has been created. I would point out that the 50th edition of the Quebec Games would be held during celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the founding of Drummondville.

In honour of this historic celebration, the bid committee has decided to bring the city's founding father, Frederick George Heriot, back to life by creating Fred the mascot. I am proudly wearing my Fred toggle here today to show my support for Drummondville's bid.

Through various activities to promote an initiation into sports, recreation, competition and high-level performance, the programming of the Quebec Games encourages young people to engage in sports and supports them as they strive for excellence.

I am committed to supporting initiatives that encourage sports as part of a healthy lifestyle.

TenoreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian musician, Jill Siemens, the founder of the famous Canadian Tenors, has done it again. She has created another group of three world-class tenors known as Tenore.

Most Canadians have not heard of Tenore yet but, like the Canadian Tenors, their music will soon be enjoyed around the world.

I heard Tenore sing last Saturday night in Ottawa. Their rendition of The Lord's Prayer was the best I have ever heard and it brought people to tears. It was absolutely incredible.

One of the Tenores is Shane Wiebe from Canadian Idol.

Wow, those men can SING!.

Yesterday, Tenore thrilled those attending Canada's National Prayer Breakfast. They sing again tonight in Toronto and then head west to continue their Canadian tour in beautiful British Columbia.

I encourage everyone to check out and enjoy the inspiring music of Tenore. It sounds Italian. It is Tenor plus an “e”.

Leonard BraithwaiteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, just over a month ago, Canada lost a great patriot. Mr. Leonard Braithwaite, Canada's first black parliamentarian, died at 88 years of age.

First elected to the Ontario legislature in 1963, Mr. Braithwaite pushed to end the segregation of black children in Ontario schools, which then education minister, Bill Davis, acted upon. Later he became the first black bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and was appointed both to the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.

Born to West Indian parents and raised in Toronto, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 serving with No. 6 Bomber Command in Yorkshire, England during World War II. After the war, he returned to Canada and graduated from the University of Toronto, Harvard Business School and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Mr. Braithwaite was a great Canadian who blazed a trail for future generations. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy for his home province and for Canada.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I pay tribute to Mary Simon, president of ITK.

Mary addressed key issues that affect Inuit, such as youth suicide, violence against women, obesity, diabetes, TB rates, housing conditions and the Inuits' struggle to maintain their traditions and language.

Mary held several leadership positions, including president of the Northern Quebec Inuit Association, president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada's ambassador for circumpolar affairs and chair of the Arctic Council. She headed the Makivik Corporation responsible for implementing the James Bay and northern Quebec agreement, and was policy co-director of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

She was one of the Inuit negotiators during the constitutional discussions that led to the recognition of aboriginal rights in the Constitution Act of 1982.

Mary Simon has been an environmental advocate for “The Right to be Cold” campaign that highlights the rapidly changing ecology of the Arctic. This campaign calls for the protection of the environment and the Inuit way of life.

I thank Mary Simon for the remarkable work she has done over the past 40 years. She has devoted her life to achieving social justice for Inuit.

May she enjoy a well-deserved break. She will be missed.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago today Canadians endorsed our government with a majority. We were given a strong mandate to secure Canadians' prosperity. Only the Conservative Party put forward a serious, workable plan, one now seen in economic action plan 2012. Canadians understood that and sent our government back to Ottawa in greater numbers to turn those promises into a new Canadian reality.

We remain focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadian families. Economic action plan 2012 keeps taxes low, cuts direct program expenses and carries us toward a balanced budget. Canada's economic performance vindicates our approach. Our low tax, low debt plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity is working. Since the depths of the recession nearly 700,000 jobs have been created. More Canadians are working now than ever before. Our Conservative government made a promise to Canadians to ensure their prosperity. We kept that promise and we will continue to do so.

International Day of the MidwifeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, May 5 communities across Canada and throughout the world will celebrate the International Day of the Midwife. I rise in the House today to acknowledge the role midwives play as key partners in efforts to tackle maternal, newborn and infant mortality, worldwide and here at home.

Canada and the world need midwives now more than ever. They provide close-to-home primary care during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. Midwives provide a safe, effective and low-cost solution to the challenges still faced by women in rural, remote and particularly aboriginal communities across Canada.

In the lead up to the International Day of the Midwife, I join women and their families in recognizing the contributions of midwives to building healthy communities and celebrate the potential to build on this success for all women across Canada.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today Canadians gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to focus on what matters most to them: jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. An important part of this focus is our plan for responsible resource development which has benefits right across this country.

For example, in my riding of Northumberland—Quinte West one of the largest private sector employers is Cameco which refines uranium mined in Saskatchewan. Our plan will ensure a streamlined and timely regulatory process for major resource projects, including projects at the Cameco facility in Port Hope. Responsible resource development will bring billions of dollars in new investment to Canada and create enormous potential for job growth in all regions of this country. Our plan for responsible resource development will ensure major resource projects continue to create good, skilled, well-paying jobs for Canadians while at the same time protecting the environment.

That is why my constituents and Canadians from all regions are behind our plan.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, today the Liberal Party became the most open party in Canadian political history with the launch of the new Liberal supporter category.

At our January biennial convention, Liberal delegates voted to make historic changes to the party's structure by creating a new Liberal supporter category that gives every single Canadian the chance to register support for the Liberal Party and choose our next leader. With this launch, the next phase of our rebuilding begins. In the coming days, Liberals across the country will be engaging and recruiting Liberal supporters.

Liberal supporters will be part of a new generation of Liberals who will help our party modernize and grow, driving change and helping us to craft a progressive policy platform that will speak to Canadians as we move toward the next election. We encourage all Canadians who share our belief in hope and equality of opportunity to join with us and the Liberal movement and build a better Canada. Go to www.liberal.ca today and sign up now to choose the next prime minister of Canada.

BurmaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Aung San Suu Kyi fought tirelessly for over two decades in the name of freedom, peace, democracy and human rights for the people of Burma.

Even now, as a member of Parliament, she is working to make Burma a better country. In these times of change, the people, their elected representatives and their government must support democratic co-operation.

I know that our government and all Canadians are ready to support the Burmese people who are working to build a peaceful, democratic society.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, a year ago today, Canadians changed the face of Canadian politics forever. Of course there was the NDP's unprecedented rise to official opposition status, but there was also a change in mentality that was even more impressive.

Millions of Canadians decided to turn their backs on cynicism and the old way of doing politics. They did what they needed to do to make their voices heard. They said yes to hope and optimism.

A year ago today, millions of new voices flooded into the political landscape, voices that will resonate for decades to come, voices that are younger and more representative of the diversity of our regions, our cities, our provinces and our country.

I wish everyone a happy anniversary. Just three years to go before we replace this tired government.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, S&P has now downgraded government debt for nine euro currency countries. Greek and Portuguese debt is now rated at junk status. Even the EU bailout fund has been downgraded. Soon the bailout fund will need a bailout.

Yet amazingly the NDP leader said on Monday that the EU countries are not borrowing and spending enough. It shows that here at home the NDP would bury us in taxes, smother us in debt and, in the spirit of egalitarianism, evenly redistribute misery to all.

The Conservatives choose the Canada way, a low tax, low debt, pro-trade plan for jobs and growth.

The NDP leader should listen to Tommy Douglas who said, “The trouble with socialists is that they let their bleeding hearts go to their bloody heads.”

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, after one year in power, the Conservatives' record shows that their friends and powerful people take priority over everyone else, even though they campaigned on a promise of accountability.

Their latest exploit? Thousands of people follow the rules and wait their turn to be allowed into Canada, yet the Conservative government gave preferential treatment to Conrad Black, a British criminal rotting in an American jail. This is an important matter that the Prime Minister must take seriously.

Why do the friends of those in power not have to follow the same rules as everyone else?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has made it clear that this decision was made by departmental officials in accordance with the law.

The leader of the NDP yesterday and again today is suggesting that public servants are taking decisions in these matters that are biased, prejudiced and even racist. He is making these intemperate allegations without any evidence whatsoever. It is entirely inappropriate.

Public servants administer the law, and we respect the law.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Just so, Mr. Speaker. The very foundation of our society is the rule of law, that all of us are equal under the law. Conrad Black is a British citizen. He is still in a U.S. jail. He was convicted of serious crimes in the United States. Why is he being given special treatment?

The fact of the matter is that no one else has ever been in the situation of being still in jail, having his dossier marched around all the offices of the minister, and getting his approval before even getting out of the slammer. The only exceptional circumstance in this case is he is a friend of the Conservatives.

Why is the Prime Minister affording special treatment to his insider friends? Why is he not tough on crime when it comes to his Conservative cronies?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again aspersions are being cast on public servants without any evidence. The leader of the NDP owes them an apology. There has been no involvement of anyone on the political side of government in this. It would be just as easy for us if Mr. Black were not allowed to come to Canada, but that is not the judgment of those who administer the law.

If the leader of the NDP is suggesting the law should be changed, I would be delighted to see what those changes would be. We on the government side have to administer, and have to let our public servants administer, the law as it is and not apply political criteria to admissibility or non-admissibility.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this matter is symptomatic of a government that is burnt out and tired. Their golden rule is friends first. A $16 glass of orange juice, an army helicopter used as a personal taxi to go fishing, partisan appointments—it is one scandal after another, just like in the good old Mulroney days. The Conservatives have been caught with both hands in the cookie jar.

Most recently, they have wasted $600,000 on overtime for their limousines. At a time when they are cutting services, when they are telling everyone else to tighten their belts, they cannot even manage their own limousines.

When will the government members finally realize that the party is over?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that our government was re-elected because the Canadian economy is the envy of the world. That was true last year and it is true now more than ever. There is no doubt that our economy is performing so well thanks to the hard work of our ministers, who are protecting the interests of hard-working, law-abiding Canadian families. Our government will continue to do so.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the life of Conservative cabinet ministers. They get to live like royalty and they only ever have to apologize once they have been caught.

What is with this predilection for limousines? The government is cutting border services and food inspection. It is shortchanging seniors. But cabinet ministers are not cutting back on limousines. Over $600,000 in standby in just one year.

How do the Conservatives have the nerve to tell Canadians that the cupboard is bare while ministers on the front benches are stuffing themselves on perks and entitlements?