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House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

SECOND READINGJobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I admire greatly the work the member does in this House, particularly in the area of agriculture.

I know that the hon. member shared my concerns, and many Canadians' concerns, when the government snubbed its nose at existing law that required that it consult with farmers on the Wheat Board, and when the government snubbed its nose at the order of the court that it ought to obey the law.

The hon. member heard the member for Fort McMurray—Athabasca basically saying, and encouraging, that we should now spend millions of dollars for Revenue Canada to investigate the very organizations that are going to help small communities, first nations and Métis settlements to intervene in the review of major projects that might impact them.

As I have mentioned in the House previously, there actually is an obligation on the Government of Canada, a commitment, to provide advance notice of an opportunity for consultation, for anybody in North America who might have a concern with the proposed new environmental law.

I am wondering if the member shares my concerns about not just the content of this bill but the manner in which the government is bringing these matters before this House.

SECOND READINGJobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Edmonton—Strathcona. I note her great work and the great career she has had in the environmental movement, working on behalf of all of us across this land. She deserves a great deal of credit.

The member is absolutely right about process. There is no reason to stuff this bill with environmental protection regulations that are going to be done away with. There is no excuse for it. There was no need for it. It is absolutely reprehensible that it has actually happened. It should not have occurred.

When it comes to the environment, one of the things I have learned, and I am not an environmentalist, far from it, is that the air we breathe around here moves from somewhere else and the water that goes through that stream moves from somewhere else. We cannot build a wall around that environment and say we are living in the bubble.

What is done here or over there will indeed impact where we are here. That is a troubling piece, when all of that impact can have not only a hemispheric piece, an interaction, but indeed a global piece. As we used to say, think globally, act locally.

At the end of the day, it is about how we act. It is not about how we have inaction. It needs to be action. This is about to bring us inaction, and that is not a good start.

SECOND READINGJobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, as I listened to my colleague speak, he brought up the issue of food safety and I am very glad he did.

I believe the member is facing a dilemma, because he and his associates asked that we do more for food safety. I am happy to tell him what he probably already knows, that there is an additional $51 million in this budget for food safety, to enhance our food safety systems.

I am so interested in knowing exactly how this member will vote. I already saw how he voted on the budget, but as I told him during question period, he has an opportunity to redeem himself during these budget implementation votes. He can vote in favour of additional funding for food safety, just as he has been asking for.

How does the member respond to that?

SECOND READINGJobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not realize I had gone that far down the list that I needed to be redeemed. If I need redemption, I hope my hon. colleague will help me find it. It is probably a horse running in the fourth, but then again Fort Erie is closing the slots and that may actually do away with the raceway, so there may not be any horses there anymore.

It is abundantly clear, and this parliamentary secretary knows it, that this one-term funding that has been dropped in for this one budget year will disappear. He knows it and so does the minister. It will disappear. The budget will decrease, along with the agriculture budget, which got hit by 10%.

If anybody needs to redeem themselves, I would suggest it is my hon. colleague across the way and the minister who allowed the agriculture budget not to be trimmed but to have a meat cleaver taken to it. It had its arm chopped off to the tune of 10%-plus.

That is where redemption ought to be for farmers. It ought to be for that minister and that parliamentary secretary to stand up for farmers and fight to get that money back to make sure that farmers across this country are looked after, protected and well maintained. That did not happen through this minister and parliamentary secretary.

Kitchener RangersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate and to pay tribute to Steve Bienkowski, winner of the Lions Club 2011 Citizen of the Year award for Kitchener—Waterloo.

Steve is the chief operating officer of the Kitchener Rangers and the impetus behind their ongoing success over the past decade. The Kitchener Rangers may be out of the playoffs, but they are still winners in our community.

Under Steve's leadership, the Rangers have become strong community partners, making important contributions to our region's economy and generous donations to local charities.

In addition, the team's emphasis on player participation in the community reinforces the hockey heritage of our region and provides role models for aspiring young players and fans.

Please join me in saluting Steve Bienkowski and thanking him for his outstanding contributions.

Randy KapashesitStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a great leader and a good personal friend, Randy Kapashesit, chief of MoCreebec on Moose Factory Island. The people of the James Bay are shocked that a leader who had so much vision was taken from us so suddenly.

Randy was an advocate for aboriginal equity. His vision for sustainable cultural and economic development for the MoCreebec people involved the building of co-operative housing and the immensely successful ecolodge on Moose Factory.

Randy also had an international vision. He worked with the United Nations North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus. He was planning for the 2014 conference.

However, Randy also loved music, ideas and people. Whenever we were in the presence of Randy, we knew we were in the presence of someone who was very profound and special.

I am deeply sorrowful that I cannot be there with his family and community as they say goodbye. However, on behalf of the New Democratic caucus, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his partner Donna, his children Waseyabin and Ajuawak and the people of the Moose Factory region who have lost a great leader.

International TradeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, international trade is truly a kitchen table issue. It means opportunities for Canadian business and for Canadian jobs.

More than 60% of Canada's annual income and the jobs of one in five Canadians are generated by trade. Canada's advantage is enhanced by strong people-to-people ties with countries around the world.

Canadian business, including those in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore, applaud measures taken by our Conservative government, including the signing of trade agreements with Panama, Costa Rica, Jordan, Honduras, Columbia and Peru and the modernizing of free trade agreements with Chile and Israel; the pursuit of new trade agreements with the European Union, India, Japan, Morocco, Ukraine and the great trading nations of the Pacific rim; the beyond the border initiative to streamline trade with the U.S.A., our largest trading partner; the lowering of corporate taxes, making Canada a preferred country to establish headquarters and create jobs; and maintaining the lowest deficit and debt ratios in the G8, underpinned by the world's most stable financial sector.

We have expanded opportunities for Canadian businesses, Canadian young people and Canadian families.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, I attended an event at Nathan Phillips Square, organized by members of Toronto's Vietnamese community, specifically the Vietnamese veterans.

The ceremony was intended to help commemorate and remember those who have given so much in the name of national service. It highlighted the differences that make us unique, but more important, it helped us to pay tribute to the qualities and the goals that unite and cause us to work co-operatively for a better tomorrow.

In effect, the ceremony called upon the Vietnamese government to respect basic human rights and it called upon Canada's government to redouble its efforts to show leadership on this issue. These are qualities that all Canadians can support.

Because of this, I would like to extend a special note of congratulations and thanks to all of those who work tirelessly to advance this positive message of peace, collaboration and justice for all.

2012 RBC CupStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Conservative Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday, Canada's national Junior A hockey championship will commence in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. One hundred and thirty-three teams from 10 leagues make up the Canadian Junior Hockey League and all start their season with the goal of making it to the RBC Cup. These teams represent the best of hockey in small-town Canada, a place where people play for the love of the game.

This year, the tournament is being hosted by the town of Humboldt, whose Humboldt Broncos will show the Woodstock Slammers, the Soo Thunderbirds and the Penticton Vees the same thing they recently showed the Portage Terriers: how hockey is really meant to be played.

The Broncos, who have twice won the national Junior A hockey championship, are an active part of the community. They love their fans and Humboldt loves its Broncos. That is the key. The Broncos will defeat the Slammers, clobber the Thunderbirds, upend the Vees and embarrass the Terriers, not just with superior hockey skills, though that will soon be evident, but they will win the RBC Cup because they have the greatest hockey fans in the country, fans who will provide the heart necessary for victory.

Congratulations to Humboldt and its great volunteers for hosting the RBC Cup.

MefloquineStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the courage and determination of Sonia Scalzo, a constituent in Joliette who, for the past six years, has been working hard to raise awareness among Canadians about the military's use of the internationally controversial anti-malarial drug mefloquine.

The drug is meant to prevent malaria, but it can have serious side effects for some people, including hallucinations, anxiety and aggression.

The United States stopped systematically prescribing this drug to its soldiers in 2009, but we continue to administer it to our Canadian troops.

After Ms. Scalzo's lonely six-year battle and seven refusals by the Canadian Forces ombudsman to investigate mefloquine, I am joining her in calling for a thorough review of this important issue.

I want to thank her for her exemplary courage. Her tenacity is an inspiration to all the soldiers and military families who have been affected by mefloquine.

Manufacturing IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one needs look no further than the riding of York Centre, the riding I am privileged to represent, for evidence that our Conservative government's policies have created an environment in Canada for business and manufacturing to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Bombardier, the single largest employer in the GTA, whose airplane manufacturing plant is located in Downsview Park, has reached an agreement with WestJet to supply 20 Q400 planes for WestJet's newly created regional carrier, with the option for an additional 25 aircraft.

WestJet chief executive Gregg Saretsky said “The Q400 won out because it flies fast, it can fly longer range and we can get more people on the aircraft...”.

I am proud to represent a riding that demonstrates the quality of Canadian innovation and manufacturing. This is just one example of the benefits our government's policies are having on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Both NDP and Liberal job-killing tax hikes would raise the cost of manufacturing and drive investment and jobs elsewhere.

I congratulate Bombardier on its achievement, and I look forward to continued success under economic action plan 2012.

Beef IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week the Canadian Cattlemen's Association hosted the Alberta Beef Producers to meet with members of Parliament and continue working closely with our Conservative government developing policy to enhance Canada's beef industry.

Canadian beef producers are moving ahead. The industry is growing and poised to fill all those orders that our Minister of International Trade and Minister of Agriculture are securing around the world.

The cattlemen appreciate the advance payments program our government provided. They support the government's entry into the trans-Pacific partnership negotiation. They support our efforts to secure free trade with Japan and increase the age limits for Canadian beef.

Beef producers support our efforts to get them unlimited duty-free access to the European Union market and the 500 million customers that my constituents and producers in Crowfoot are determined to feed.

Canada's cattle producers, and the ones in my riding as well, appreciate having input into our government's policy-making process. The government is listening.

Great Places in CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Parkdale—High Park in Toronto is home to many vibrant, culturally rich and engaged neighbourhoods. I am proud to call myself a resident and representative of these neighbourhoods.

I rise today to recognize the achievement of one neighbourhood in particular. In the Canadian Institute of Planners' Great Places in Canada competition, Roncesvalles Village is now one of eight finalists selected from a field of ninety submissions.

The community organized, worked together and cast more than 200,000 votes in support of its neighbourhood being the best in Canada.

I want to congratulate the residents of Roncesvalles Village on building their community with strong social engagement. Roncesvalles is without doubt really one of the best neighbourhoods in Canada.

Polish Constitution DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Polish Constitution Day. On May 3, 1791, Poland adopted Europe's first democratic constitution only four years after the constitution of the United States was signed.

Soon after its adoption, Poland would lose its freedom to foreign occupation. However, the constitution of May 3 would continue to serve as a symbol of freedom, democratic rights and the fight for Polish independence.

Today May 3 is celebrated as a national holiday in Poland, where major streets and monuments throughout the country are dedicated to its memory.

Here in Canada, Polish Canadians reflect on the long-standing historic legacy of the fight for liberty and democracy. They also celebrate the fact that Canada reflects those same values and that Poland is now a free and prosperous European ally.

I join with Polish Canadians in celebrating this holiday and would like to take this opportunity to remind Canadians that we must always stand on guard for individual freedoms and always resist the forces that seek to limit it.

Daniel LaroucheStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, April 29, Daniel Larouche passed away. He was the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada representative for the workers at the Stadacona mill in Quebec City.

Mr. Larouche made a name for himself during the painful labour dispute at White Birch Paper, where he worked selflessly representing the Stadacona mill workers.

Former Stadacona CEO André Sarasin described Mr. Larouche as a credible, trustworthy person with an intelligent approach to the issues. Renaud Gagné, vice-president of CEP-Quebec, said Mr. Larouche was a craftsman and everyone at CEP is mourning his loss.

I saw Daniel Larouche on several occasions. I am sorry to see this man, who was so dedicated to and respected by the workers he represented, leave us just a few short years before his well-deserved retirement.

I want to offer my sincere condolences to the love of his life, Ginette Bouffard, his children, Katherine-Sarah and Thomas, and all his fellow workers.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government remains committed to positive measures that focus on employment, growth and long-term prosperity.

Unfortunately, on the NDP side, it does appear as though the MPs have not yet fully understood their role, since many of them remain voiceless, while others continue to party, even paying for clowns on the taxpayers' dime. Worse still, their leader dared to describe public servants as “racist”, when they are simply doing their jobs. He is setting quite an example for the new MPs.

The leader of the NDP and his apprentice MPs are great at improvising. They have a long way to go before discovering successful economic policies for the Quebec and Canadian economy.

Only a strong, stable Conservative government under the leadership of our Prime Minister was able to pull Canada out of this economic crisis with dignity. Our government will continue doing what is necessary to create jobs and return to a balanced budget.

World Press Freedom DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark World Press Freedom Day reminding us of the profound importance of freedom of expression, the lifeblood of democracy, consecrated as a core freedom in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law, while the rise of the Internet and social media have underpinned and propelled the Arab Spring.

Yet we cannot ignore the obverse side, the criminalization of freedom of expression, as in the case of Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil; or the targeting and murder of journalist Marie Colvin in Syria; or the establishment of an Internet firewall, as in Iran, to quarantine Internet freedom; or that the same Internet that transports the best of free speech also transports the worst of assaultive speech, including even state-sanctioned incitement to genocide, thereby warranting remedy and sanction.

Let us join together in celebrating World Press Freedom Day in the hope that freedom of expression will be protected, that journalists who are imprisoned for exercising it will be released, and that those who attack this freedom will be held accountable.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader has a history of making inaccurate remarks. He leads his party by example with over-the-top attacks on government policy and unnecessary personal attacks on members of Parliament. The leader of the NDP will do absolutely anything to make the news, even if that means misleading Canadians.

On Monday, he misled Canadians by saying that there were two sets of books for the F-35s. That is absolutely ridiculous. In reality, the deputy minister of National Defence testified to Parliament stating, “we just had one set of books”.

Canadians want to know when the NDP leader's baseless smear campaign will end.

Maybe it is the NDP that has two sets of books: one to sell Canadians on voting NDP and the second, after being elected, to undermine Canadian jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

World Press Freedom DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Press Freedom Day, and the NDP would like to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives while keeping us informed.

Even now, around the world, many publications are censored or banned because of their content or because they campaign for greater freedom and democracy.

Freedom of the press is the cornerstone of every democratic society, and Canada is no exception. In fact, Canada should be a leader in respecting basic rights, such as freedom of the press.

Unfortunately, the Conservatives are venturing into dangerous territory. They value ideology over facts and refuse to listen to environmental and financial experts. The Prime Minister's Office protects information as though it were the crown jewels.

Never has a government allowed journalists so little access to information. Maybe it is trying to prevent all of its scandals from being exposed.

The NDP is against such a blatant lack of transparency toward journalists and, by extension, the Canadian public.

The NDP will remain vigilant to ensure that journalists' freedom of expression is respected and protected.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

May 3rd, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, virtually every day, the NDP makes an over-the-top characterization about government policy, unwarranted personal attacks and exaggerated claims. The NDP's willingness to accuse without proof and without hesitation reflects a deeper rot within that party.

Just this week, the NDP's new leader stood in his place and made a baseless smear about highly trained public servants. He claimed that these highly trained public servants were making immigration decisions based on race. I would ask for the proof behind this baseless allegation but we all know, as always, there is no proof.

The leader of the NDP will do absolutely anything to make the news, even if that means misleading Canadians. Canadians want to know when the NDP's baseless smear campaign will end.

While the NDP is playing its schoolyard games, we will continue to focus on what matters most to Canadians: jobs, economic growth and log-term prosperity.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last month, the Conservatives changed their parliamentary report on plans and priorities with regard to the F-35. The first version of the report indicated that the purchase of the aircraft had been approved by cabinet; however, a new version, which they changed retroactively, states that cabinet has not approved this purchase.

Why did the Conservatives want Canadians to think that the purchase of this aircraft had been approved and why did they change their story?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government has not signed a contract to purchase these aircraft. We have been clear. We will await the results of the improved oversight process, implemented as result of the Auditor General's report, before purchasing such aircraft.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the official excuse is that it was a typographical error. The Conservatives want us to believe that someone typed the word “definitions” when he or she actually meant to type two words “options analysis”.

Are there any other typographical errors about the F-35s that the government would like to make the House aware of? For example, when it told Parliament that the plane would cost $14.7 billion but cabinet thought the plane would cost $10 billion more, was that just a typing error?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I think has been made very clear, $15 billion has been the estimate of the acquisition and maintenance costs. In any case, the government has been very clear and the facts have been on the record for years that the government has not signed a contract and has not bought any aircraft. None of that is even remotely planned until the current aircraft reach the end of their useful life in the later part of this decade.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General showed that the government did not provide information to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The deputy minister of National Defence said today that he provided the full costing of the F-35s to the Minister of National Defence, the full $25 billion. Why was that information not passed on to Parliament?