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House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

As I have said on many occasions in this House, we know that the 2010 budget, which the NDP voted against, allocated $497 million to the RADARSAT Constellation mission, and the 2009 budget, which the NDP also voted against, allocated $110 million for space robotics.

I will say it again: we are committed to this project and we will endeavour to deliver it in a cost-effective way.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, added to a list that includes Kofi Annan and Angelina Jolie is one Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe's despotic leader this week was named as a UN envoy. His title? International tourism ambassador for the UN World Tourism Organization.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please inform the House how Canada intends to respond to the fact that someone prevented from travelling to Europe because he has committed egregious human rights abuses is being recognized in this way by the UN?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it truly is outrageous that someone with such a bad track record on human rights could be appointed to something by a United Nations body. It shows how out of touch this body is with reality. This type of appointment undermines the very United Nations organization.

In the budget we said we would be reviewing our membership in international organizations. Canada has signalled its intention to withdraw from the UN World Tourism Organization, a decision that will take place later this month.

TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, an austerity budget is not going to help develop the economy of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

What is needed is some kind of developmental project, such as the introduction of a customs service at the Bagotville airport. That will help our tourism industry, in addition to opening up other business opportunities.

Everyone in the region agrees on the project. The mayor supports it, Quebec's transportation department supports it, and even the Conservatives, during the election campaign, supported the project.

Is the government going to work with us and with local officials in order to introduce a customs service at the Bagotville airport very soon?

TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are always looking at ways to improve service for Canadians. That is what our beyond the borders initiative is doing.

The Prime Minister signed the agreement with the president in order to find ways to keep more smaller airports and border crossings open.

I hope that the NDP join us in that initiative so that we can work to protect smaller areas, to provide the services that local constituents require.

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, nearly 300 people have just lost their jobs with the closing of the Levinoff-Colbex slaughterhouse in Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover.

The federal government has never wanted to admit that it is harming slaughterhouses by imposing slaughtering standards that are more stringent and more costly than those in place south of the border. The Conservatives' inaction is now having consequences that are devastating for these hundreds of employees. Beef producers and the Quebec government are currently working on setting up a co-op.

Will the Minister of Agriculture commit to meeting with the Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec in order to explore all possible avenues to save the slaughterhouse and the jobs it provides?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, it is well known that, historically, our government has always provided solid support to the Levinoff-Colbex slaughterhouse. Its closing is of course a business decision, and our thoughts are with the employees and the families affected.

However, I would like to point out that we provided the company with $4.6 million in funding to help it cope with the negative impact of the difference between its costs and U.S. costs. Our door is always open to working with producers to examine issues of competitiveness.

At the time, large amounts of money had been earmarked in the budgets, which could have gone to help the slaughterhouse, but which the Bloc voted against, I remember.

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

That concludes question period for today. The Chair has notices of two points of order. I will take them in the order in which I was made aware of them.

The hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to inform you of my resignation as the member for Calgary Centre.

Serving in this House on two different occasions in two different centuries has been the greatest honour of my life.

From 1988 to 1993, I was privileged to serve as the member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast in the government of prime minister Brian Mulroney, whose achievements included the free trade agreement and the acid rain accord, two landmark agreements between Canada and the United States.

Since 2004, I have been equally privileged to serve as the member for Calgary Centre and since 2006, in the government of Canada's 22nd Prime Minister, the right hon. member for Calgary Southwest.

To both prime ministers, I thank them for the honour of serving in their caucus. Each has remarkable listening skills when it comes to leading a united caucus, the most important leadership attribute in our parliamentary system.

This Prime Minister has reunited our party and brought it from political wilderness to government, where he leads our country with great distinction. As a Calgarian, I think all Calgarians take great pride that our country is led by one of our own. I am proud to have served in his government and am grateful for his friendship and support. I am equally proud of Laureen Harper, a wonderful chatelaine of 24 Sussex and ambassador for Canada.

I first sat in the members' gallery, and some members will recall me saying not long ago, 40 years ago, as executive assistant to the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker, Canada's 13th prime minister. He was no longer leader of the Progressive Conservative Party at that time, but he was still master of this House, the greatest parliamentarian of his time. It was a privilege to have known him and to have worked with him on his memoirs, One Canada. There was never a more partisan figure in this House than Mr. Diefenbaker, but he was, above all, a man of this House.

If I could share one thought with colleagues, it would be this. While we advocate for different ideas of Canada, we are all Canadians and we all love our country. I think we would all do well to remember that and leave the partisan furies at the water's edge.

There are many people I would like to thank, many people to be thanked, beginning with the voters of my two ridings who sent me here in five elections.

I would like to thank the volunteers and supporters in my Calgary association, and my dedicated staff who have served me so well over the years.

In particular, I want to thank Lynda MacKay, my executive assistant, who is now the longest serving staffer on Parliament Hill. Just last week she received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her decades of unbroken service.

I am leaving to take up a new opportunity as principal secretary to the Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford. This is an exciting challenge at a moment when Alberta's new premier is claiming Alberta's leadership role in the Canadian federation in a way that only Peter Lougheed, among her predecessors, has done.

To my friends here, I say goodbye for now. I hope to see all of you at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede this July. It has been an honour to be in your company.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I await my call from the Premier of Alberta, but it is a long time in coming.

As my friend receives salutations and congratulations from many of our colleagues around the House, he can look at the blues later for my comments. I consider him a friend, and do so much because of the way he just responded and told us about his life and experience here.

I thank him for his many invitations to the Calgary Stampede. We now all have one for the centennial, which is great.

I also must commend him. This life and work are not often kind to us, and for somebody who can reflect back to days with former prime minister John Diefenbaker, I must say the time has been remarkably good to my friend from Calgary Centre. He is looking great. We wish him the very best from the New Democratic Party of Canada and from all the citizens we represent.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, these events are somewhat like Tom Sawyer's funeral, where he had the benefit of attending so he could hear the eulogies. The hon. member for Calgary Centre is in exactly that position.

I simply say as somebody who I suspect has been hanging around the House of Commons perhaps even a little longer than he has, what a great privilege it has been to serve with him in this House.

His words to us were well expressed and are a worthy reminder of how important a very simple word like “civility” really is. Civility does not just apply to whether or not we are polite with one another. Civility also applies to how the House itself is run. All of us who have had a chance to work with the member for Calgary Centre, whether on committee where he has served as a very effective and fair-minded chair, whether in the House itself where his interventions have always been singularly well-spoken, positive and thoughtful, or in private conversations, it can be said that he is someone who is constantly reaching out to all sides of the House not only to establish political relationships but also to establish personal relationships.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, I offer our best wishes to our friend, the member for Calgary Centre, as he starts his new position. I do not think there is anyone more qualified than him for this job, not only for the Province of Alberta and its premier, but also for all of Canada.

I know the hon. member served a similar role at the time of the premiership of Peter Lougheed. I can think of no one in the country who is more qualified to serve the Premier of Alberta who, I must say, contrary to what has been said by the House leader of the official opposition, has certainly always returned my phone calls without any difficulty. Maybe he has the wrong number.

I cannot think of anybody more qualified, not only to serve her and the people of Alberta, but also to serve the people of Canada. We wish him well.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join the other parliamentarians in paying tribute to my colleague, since I had the honour and pleasure of sitting with him from 1988 to 1993.

I was already in Parliament when he arrived in 1988. I sat with him and we were in the same party at the time—the Progressive Conservative Party. I think that, like him, I belonged to the progressive side. I very much admired his vast knowledge of politics and his diplomacy.

I would particularly like to thank the member for rising during the famous debate on the Meech Lake accord and showing his love for his country, Canada, but he always wanted to accommodate Quebec by being a great defender of the Meech Lake accords. I thank him for that. It demonstrated his generous spirit and his vision for the future with a very important place for Quebec. Unfortunately things did not turn out that way, but his efforts were noticed. I would like to thank him and wish him well in his new career.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was very emotional as my dear friend, the member for Calgary Centre, stood to announce his resignation. As some may know, I worked as senior policy adviser to the federal minister of the environment in the Mulroney government, and one of the luckiest breaks I ever got was when the hon. member for Calgary Centre, who worked in the prime minister's office, took the time to help advance an issue and make sure that the great environmental goals of that government were achieved.

It has been one of the greatest pleasures for me to serve in Parliament with an old and dear friend. But he is not that old. I want to clear something up. He first worked with John Diefenbaker when he was only four or five years old. I do not know what use he possibly was to the prime minister in that era, but it speaks well of Progressive Conservative policies for child labour that we still have the hon. member for Calgary Centre among us. We will miss him very much.

I wish him the best of luck in his position with the Alberta government.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising out of question period today.

The member for Okanagan—Coquihalla raised a point about a bill that he has been moving through the House. We have made offers to the Conservative Party to switch his bill to allow it to pass before the summer. I am unclear as to which part of yes the Conservatives cannot take for an answer. We have offered everything we can do to move the bill through expeditiously. That is what would happen if the hon. member would agree. I do not understand why the government is continuing to disrupt the hopes and dreams of winemakers right across this country and those who enjoy it. No one shall say that New Democrats do not like wine as much as the next party.

Use of an Unparliamentary ExpressionPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry NDP Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening in the House, during my speech on Bill C-39, I used an English word that anglophones define a certain way. I will not repeat it in the House. As a francophone, to me that word means “to be taken for a ride” or “to be had”.

Since we are in the House of Commons and some of my colleagues were offended, I would like to withdraw the word and apologize to all of my fellow MPs.

Use of an Unparliamentary ExpressionPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for addressing that situation.

Public SafetyRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2011 annual report on the RCMP's use of the law enforcement justification provisions, as per sections 25.1 to 25.4 of the Criminal Code.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 30th, 2012 / 3:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to six petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at the National Governors Association winter meeting held in Washington, D.C., February 24 to 27, 2012.

Canadian HeritageCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in relation to its study on the main estimates, 2012-13.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to its study of the main estimates, 2012-13, vote 5 under Parliament and vote 15 under Privy Council.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in relation to its study of the main estimates, 2012-13, vote 20 under Finance.

Canada Elections ActRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-424, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (contestation of election and punishment).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce what I think is important legislation to strengthen our electoral system to deter those who may be considering committing electoral fraud.

We are seeking to do two things with this legislation. The first is to add the Chief Electoral Officer as somebody under the Canada Elections Act who has the authority to go before a competent court and contest the result in a particular riding. The current legislation only allows an elector or a candidate in that riding. As we know, it can be cost prohibitive for many people in the case of a widespread, large scale fraud that may have been perpetrated. In our view, with new technologies, it is appropriate for the Chief Electoral Officer to have the ability to appear before the court to contest a particular result.

The second element of this bill would be to increase the penalties. We are not suggesting a mandatory minimum in any way. We are seeking to increase the fines that a court of competent jurisdiction could impose on somebody convicted of an offence under the act. The current fines for some reconviction offences are $2,000. We are suggesting that the House increase that to $20,000. For an indictable offence, the $5,000 should properly be $50,000.

We hope this legislation will attract broad support in the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Citizenship ActRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-425, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces).

Mr. Speaker, I will begin by thanking my colleague for Medicine Hat for seconding my bill.

I rise today to introduce my private member's bill, Bill C-425, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces). This bill is much more than another pathway to integration. It also signifies the deep respect the people of Calgary Northeast hold for Canadian citizenship and for the brave men and women of our Canadian armed forces.

Once passed, the Citizenship Act will require the minister to reduce, on application, the requirement of residence to become Canadian citizen by one year for a permanent resident of Canada who is a member of the Canadian Forces, who has signed a minimum three-year contract and has completed the basic training.

It would also amend section 9 of the act to provide that individuals are deemed to have made applications for renunciation of their Canadian citizenship or are deemed to have withdrawn their application for Canadian citizenship if they engage in an act of war against the Canadian armed forces.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Private Member's BusinessRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I anticipate you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, during the supply period ending on June 23, any deferred recorded division in respect of Private Members' Business deferred to a Wednesday, which is appointed for the consideration of business pursuant to Standing Order 81(18), shall be deemed to have been deferred to the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the same day.