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House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was labour.

Topics

Continuation and Resumption of Rail Service Operations LegislationGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The time for government orders has expired. The hon. parliamentary secretary will have six minutes remaining for questions and comments when this matter returns before the House.

Shawinigan CataractesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, people all over Mauricie and central Quebec are celebrating the Shawinigan Cataractes' historic Memorial Cup win in a dazzling overtime victory over the London Knights in the packed-to-the-rafters Centre Bionest.

This is the first Memorial Cup win in the 43-year history of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's oldest team. The last time the Cataractes were in the Memorial Cup final was in 1985. Éric Veilleux's team fought their way to the top of Canadian junior hockey, winning four games in five nights. They defeated the other three league leaders and became the second team in history to capture the famed cup following a tiebreaker situation.

I would like to congratulate the players, especially MVP Michael Chaput, and the entire Cataractes organization, as well as the many volunteers and the people of Shawinigan who made the 94th Memorial Cup a huge success by creating such a welcoming and exciting atmosphere and by proving that Shawinigan truly is a top-tier city.

Shriners InternationalStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I recently received an important reminder that I believe all members of this House can help me to pass on.

Shriners International is much more than a group of fun-loving volunteers who often skilfully entertain us in parades all across this great country. We must not overlook the commendable efforts of roughly 375,000 dedicated Shriners worldwide who serve to help crippled children get the medical attention they need.

In British Columbia, our local Shriners now operate a fleet of five Shriners Care Cruisers that travel the province bringing sick kids to children's hospitals. They do this free of charge to the children and the families that they serve. In fact, since 1922, the Shriners have helped over 865,000 children.

Locally, the Penticton Shriners Club will be hosting a Shriner awareness week from June 2 to June 10. I hope the House will join with me in recognizing the great work of the Shriners organization.

World No Tobacco DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Thursday, May 31, 2012, is World No Tobacco Day.

This year, the World Health Organization has chosen “tobacco industry interference” as the theme of World No Tobacco Day.

The advertising campaign, which focuses on intimidation, will highlight the need to expose and counter—and I quote the WHO—“the tobacco industry's brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts”. This global epidemic kills nearly six million people every year, more than 600,000 of whom die from exposure to second-hand smoke.

I would therefore like to encourage Canadians to kick the habit and stop smoking. I would also like to express my great admiration for all young people who decide not to start smoking and to live a smoke-free life.

Manitoba Ride for DadStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank and honour the organizers and volunteers of the fourth annual Manitoba Ride for Dad in my home city of Winnipeg.

In particular, a special thanks goes out to Kirk Van Alstyne and Mo Sabourin of the Winnipeg Police Service who have led the way to make this event successful every year.

As Mo said at the opening ceremony this Saturday, May 26, “Raising awareness means never having to hear the words, 'If only I had had my prostate checked a year ago, I would be planning my future instead of my funeral.'”

That is why this ride is so important. Awareness helps to save lives. There were 834 motorcycle riders who participated and raised over $109,000 to support research and awareness. Tony Kusiak was the top donation earner at $7,700.

I was thrilled to be chosen as a ride captain again this year, and it was extra special to be joined by the Winnipeg Jets assistant coach and co-ride captain, Charlie Huddy.

I would ask my colleagues here in the House of Commons to please join me in congratulating the Ride's Manitoba Advisory Board, the Winnipeg Police Service and the organizers and supporters of the 2012 Manitoba Ride for Dad.

CyclingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian cyclist and Victoria, British Columbia native, Ryder Hesjedal made history this Sunday with a spectacular triumph at the Giro d'Italia.

Like many Canadians, I was infused with pride as Mr. Hesjedal rose to the podium and Canada's national anthem was played for the first time ever at the end of one of cycling's three Grand Tour events. In a feat of unimaginable mental toughness, he won this gruelling 21-day race by a mere 16 seconds.

This remarkable win in one of bicycle racing's most punishing competitions makes Ryder, who is also an outspoken anti-doping advocate, the most successful cyclist in Canada's history. It also announces his arrival on the world stage as a superstar athlete in international sport.

His victory this weekend offers testimony to Mr. Hesjedal's perseverance, training, heart and unyielding competitive spirit.

On behalf of this House and all Canadians, I am immensely proud to congratulate the inspiring Ryder Hesjedal on his historic victory.

Miss World Canada 2012Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I want to congratulate Ms. Tara Teng of Langley, British Columbia on her recent victory of being crowned Miss World Canada 2012. Winning this prestigious contest will give Tara the opportunity to represent Canada internationally at the Miss World 2012 contest in China in July. Previously, Tara was the winner of Miss Canada in 2011.

Tara has worked hard fighting modern-day slavery and human trafficking. Last year Ms. Teng worked in my office as I mentored her on the issues of modern-day slavery and encouraged her to be a strong voice to the many people affected by this heinous crime. Tara has proven herself through her efforts focused on abolishing modern-day slavery and has fought faithfully against human trafficking.

I want to wish Tara all the best as she heads to China to represent Canada in the Miss World 2012 competition and her continued efforts to end modern-day slavery. She is a young woman to be proud of. She is a role model.

Shawinigan CataractesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, again this year, the Memorial Cup did not disappoint hockey fans, and the people of the host city have many reasons to celebrate.

As the suspense reached a peak, Anton Zlobin scored a remarkable goal at the end of the overtime period, clinching the Shawinigan Cataractes' two-one Memorial Cup victory over the London Knights.

In front of more than 5,000 ecstatic fans, the Cataractes celebrated the first Memorial Cup win in their 43 year history. I am extremely pleased to congratulate this team, the first in Quebec to win the Memorial Cup since 2006.

Congratulations to Michael Chaput, who was named most valuable player and leading scorer of the tournament, and to Gabriel Girard, who was named top goalie of the tournament.

I hope every member of the Shawinigan Cataractes enjoys the victory parade, which is being held today in this beautiful Mauricie town.

Three cheers for the Cup in Shawinigan.

Farmtown CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to congratulate the Ontario Hockey League champions, the London Knights, for a great showing at this year's Memorial Cup. I will see them next year in Saskatoon. I am proud of the Knights.

Also happening this week near Aylmer, Ontario, Farmtown Canada is gearing up for another exciting summer. This unique camp features a wide variety of farm animals, from horses to pigs to peacocks, for children to see and explore.

Animals are at the centre of what goes on at Farmtown in both the day camps and counselling programs it provides. Through interaction with animals, children learn valuable life lessons about leadership and responsibility.

What makes Farmtown even more remarkable is its mantra that all kids are welcome on the farm. Families are only asked to pay what they can.

I had the pleasure of visiting Farmtown last week and saw first-hand how truly special this place is. Owner Kelly Franklin has an incredible vision and is committed to teaching children from all walks of life about life on the farm. I thank the people at Farmtown for all they do.

AzerbaijanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was 20 years ago that a most brutal incident took place in a tragic war.

Canada remembers the Khojaly massacre whose death toll exceeded as many as 2,000 civilians. Today we remember.

This massacre was one of many atrocities both sides were alleged to have committed during the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The war killed over 30,000 civilians and soldiers and displaced more than one million people. The border region remains to this day a place of scattered but deadly clashes.

We encourage all parties to continue their efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to this dispute.

Today we think of those who died, and today we remember.

This is a time of remembrance, as well as a very important day for the Azerbaijani community. I send best wishes to the people of Azerbaijan, in particular the people of the Azerbaijani community in my city of London, as they celebrate their 94th Republic Day today, May 28. On this special day, let us all pray for peace.

François ChevretteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise here today to pay tribute to François Chevrette, one of the most eminent constitutional law experts of his time, who passed away suddenly on May 19.

He became a professor at the University of Montreal faculty of law in 1968. He served as dean of the faculty from 1984 to 1988. He was long associated with the Centre de recherche en droit public and also penned many important publications.

Mr. Chevrette was an excellent communicator and a born teacher. He shared his passion for law with thousands of future judges, lawyers, notaries, professors and so on, all of whom were fortunate enough to learn from his intelligence and knowledge. He devoted himself entirely to his students, providing them with continuous support and the best possible advice.

On behalf of the NDP, I would like to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to public law. The legal community has lost a great constitutional expert. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family, his colleagues and his friends.

Calgary StampedeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the past century, the Calgary Stampede has welcomed millions of visitors to the greatest outdoor show on earth. The Calgary Stampede is a pillar of Alberta's culture, reflecting our core values of western hospitality, integrity, pride of place and community.

We are less than 40 days away from the start of the centennial Calgary Stampede. This year marks an important chapter in our history, representing over 100 years of Alberta overcoming the many challenges that faced a young province to become the economic powerhouse that feeds Canada's economy today. New attractions and events will take place to mark the special occasion. Visitors will see the very best of rodeo and chuckwagon races in the world, and enjoy spectacular grandstand shows, this year featuring Alberta's own Paul Brandt.

I encourage all Canadians to take part in this great cultural event in a year that also marks Calgary's designation as the 2012 cultural capital of Canada.

I send congratulations to this Canadian icon of tourism and culture, and thanks and appreciation to the staff and over 3,000 volunteers who make the Calgary Stampede the greatest outdoor show on earth.

Outaouais Paramedic Co-operativeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the honour of taking part in a recognition ceremony held by the Coopérative des paramédics de l'Outaouais. This co-operative, which is a fixture in Gatineau, paid tribute to the service, the sense of duty and the heroism of nearly 80 of its employees who have helped women give birth, resuscitated people and responded to countless other emergencies. The co-operative, which answered 30,000 calls last year, also honoured a number of employees who had completed 12 and even 22 years of service in the Outaouais.

Today I wish to acknowledge Bruno Pétrin and Mathieu Danis in particular, two paramedics who were involved in a serious traffic accident in March. Mathieu is still fighting for his life. Bruno and Mathieu, their families and their co-workers are in my thoughts.

Paramedics provide a reassuring presence for everyone in our region. They are everyday heroes, and their work deserves greater recognition.

On behalf of the people of Gatineau, I invite all hon. members to pay tribute to the outstanding work done by the Coopérative des paramédics de l'Outaouais and to keep Mathieu in their thoughts.

Shawinigan CataractesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, perseverance and determination are two assets that lead to success and victory. Together with Cataractes fans, we celebrated Shawinigan's two-one overtime victory over the London Knights at the Centre Bionest.

We are proud to see the Cataractes go down in history as Memorial Cup winners, the first win for a Quebec team since the Quebec Remparts's victory in 2006 and the second consecutive victory for a Quebec Major Junior League team.

The teams treated fans to an edge-of-the-seat nail-biter. With Michaël Bournival and Michael Chaput leading the charge, Russian Anton Zlobin delivered the goal that clinched the exciting match.

After 43 years, the league's oldest franchise celebrated its first victory.

On behalf of my government colleagues and myself, I would like to congratulate the 2012 Memorial Cup champions, the Shawinigan Cataractes.

Shawinigan CataractesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lise St-Denis Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am the member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain and Shawinigan.

I am very pleased with the interest that the members of this House have taken in this tournament. This is a victory for all communities in the Mauricie region. Once again, our common passion for hockey has connected Canada's regions.

I salute the Cataractes' victory in a thrilling game of our national sport. I would like to congratulate the Edmonton Oil Kings, the Saint John Sea Dogs and the London Knights, which all contributed to the success of the Memorial Cup tournament.

Our leader and I were at this historic game. We would like to acknowledge the hospitality of the people of Shawinigan. Congratulations Shawinigan Cataractes, 2012 Memorial Cup champions.

CyclingStatements By Members

May 28th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wish to join the Prime Minister in congratulating Ryder Hesjedal on his victory in this month's Giro d'Italia.

As the first Canadian winner of one of cycling's three grand tours, and only the second non-European to ever win the Giro, his victory is a testament to the world-class athletes Canada produces. The Giro is one of bicycling road races' most gruelling multi-stage competitions. His victory, riding for team Garmin-Barracuda, is a testament to his training, endurance, skill and competitive spirit.

Most Canadians came to know Ryder during his strong performance in the Tour de France. We knew that a major victory was well within his reach.

I congratulate Ryder on this defining moment in Canadian sport and wish him well in his upcoming races, including this year's Tour de France.

Government AppointmentsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives have the nerve to tell seniors and the unemployed that the cupboard is bare, while giving out all the pork to their failed candidates.

Let us look at who is feeding over at the trough at the employment insurance board. We have Yvan Patry, failed candidate from Papineau; Jean-Philippe Payment, from Blainville; Leanne Villella, rejected in Welland; Jean-Philippe Bachand, from Richmond--Arthabaska; Nathalie Ferland Drolet; Sébastien Forté; Pierre Lafontaine; Pierre Harvey.

Have members heard enough? I have tons more Tories to still go through. We have Jennifer Clarke, from Vancouver; Bernard Généreux; Richard Bélisle; the Laval candidate, Robert Malo.

And who could overlook the cash-for-life lottery in the Senate? We have Jean-Guy Dagenais; Fabian Manning; Josée Verner; Larry Smith.

The Prime Minister promised to clean up the cesspool in Ottawa. He broke that promise.

Why are his buddies who were rejected by the Canadian people living off the taxpayers' dime?

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, speaking of nerve, the NDP is trying to divide the country against itself. It calls our strong resource sector a disease, despite the fact it creates thousands of spinoff manufacturing jobs in my riding of Etobicoke Centre and throughout southern Ontario.

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

The NDP had its Canada-U.S. border critic call for a new manufacturing sector. That member opposite recently endorsed a proposal calling for a taxpayer-funded, government-owned car manufacturing company that would compete with private sector tax-paying companies that employ thousands upon thousands of Canadians.

These positions on manufacturing are typical of what Canadians can expect to hear from the NDP: dangerous economic experiments. These are policies that would hurt everyday Canadian families and waste large amounts of taxpayer dollars.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about unemployment insurance, something that will become important for the member very soon.

Canadians are starting to see through what the Prime Minister is doing with his catch-all budget bill.

The Conservatives are going to force Canadians to accept a 30% pay cut or else lose their employment insurance.

Cuts to EI, cuts to old age security, cuts to social rights: that is the perfect way to create cheap labour for McDonald's. The minister said so herself.

In six years, 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost, and they are being replaced with McJobs.

Is that the Conservatives' economic strategy?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what is most interesting is that when this gentleman became leader of the official opposition, he said he would bring a new civility and raise the tone of debate. I guess not two months after his election, they have thrown that to the side.

We are facing unprecedented labour and skills shortages in the country. It is tremendously important that the employment insurance program be working most effectively for Canada and for Canadians. That is why we are working to better connect Canadians with available jobs in their local area appropriate for their qualifications and working to ensure that they understand the responsibilities they have while collecting EI.

This is an important part of our jobs and economic growth agenda. Every Canadian wants a job, and we are working hard to create an economy that will provide just that.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, no one should be surprised at the Conservatives' attitude. It was their Prime Minister who said that people in Atlantic Canada had a culture of defeatism and were dependent on EI.

To the Minister of Human Resources, employment insurance is attractive, even lucrative, a nice gift for the lazy people who make a living from fishing, farming and forestry.

How can the Conservatives justify policies that target the unemployed, attack workers and unfairly force people to give up either a third of their salary or their EI cheque?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what we want for Canadians is what Canadians want for themselves. We want a Canada with a growing economy, with more jobs, with more hope and with more opportunity. That is exactly what we are doing with these changes to unemployment insurance.

We are working tremendously hard to ensure that available jobs are connected to those people in their home regions with the appropriate skill set. Every single person in Canada who is on unemployment insurance wants to get a job, and this government is committed to moving them into employment so that they can provide for themselves and their families.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the unemployed are expected to abandon the careers they have trained for, commute up to two hours a day, take a permanent 30% pay cut and get a McJob or work in the mines, as their ministers have said, even when it is not related to their skills.

However, failed Conservative candidates do not end up at McDonalds or in the mines, do they? No, they get nice cushy jobs in Paris. They end up on government boards, racking up expense accounts. Meanwhile, hard-working Canadians are told that they are lazy and defeatist.

Why are the Conservatives going after the unemployed? Why are they targeting people in need?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I believe the individual he speaks of who was appointed ambassador in Paris served in the Liberal cabinet, a cabinet that he served in at one point, although I think it was a bit before his time.

Someone's individual circumstances and the local labour market will always be taken into consideration. For example, if someone is from an area of higher unemployment and the opportunities are limited, their benefits will be maintained. The reality is that we want to work with Canadians to ensure that they can move into new employment so that they can provide for themselves and their families and have the dignity of a job and the pride of independence. That is exactly what we are doing.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, failed Conservative candidates do not have to worry. They are rewarded with a job in the Senate. That is their employment insurance.

But the Conservatives are going after people and communities that rely on seasonal industries.

The minister wants absolute power to make the rules and tell people which jobs are suitable for them.

These changes are going to drive wages down. Why did the Conservatives conceal them during the election campaign?