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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was changes.

Topics

King George Public Community SchoolStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, this year, King George Public Community School is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The staff and students, together with the community, are kicking off their celebrations with an event at the school this Friday.

King George School was started in 1911 due to a demand for schools for children of new immigrants coming to Canada. Throughout its history, King George School has educated several notable individuals, including Gordie Howe and Art Jones.

An integral part of the school's vision has been to build strong and lasting relationships and is the foundation of its legacy and resilience over time.

Mr. Speaker, I invite you, together with all of my colleagues, to join me in congratulating King George Public Community School on its 100th anniversary.

Regional DevelopmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship in my riding. Whether they use the co-operative model, as in the case of the Coopérative de solidarité Place du Marché in Ripon, which does great work for local producers, or the corporate model, as in the case of Les Aliments Lebel in Lachute, which is the largest manufacturer of ice cream and frozen desserts in Quebec, entrepreneurs are dedicated people with deep roots in their communities.

However, the Conservatives are slashing programs that help local economic development. By abolishing the co-operative development initiative and making cuts to the Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat, they are attacking an innovative model that thrives on solidarity.

The cuts to the Economic Development Agency of Canada illustrate the Conservatives' lack of interest in our rural entrepreneurs. The Conservatives' economic action consists of making cuts everywhere and any which way.

Retirement CongratulationsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I recognize Mr. Doug Owram, retiring deputy vice chancellor and principal of the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Since joining UBCO in 2006, Doug Owram has done an outstanding job of putting the Okanagan campus on the map and on the road to success. UBCO's motto “A Place of Mind” exemplifies the thoughtful and determined approach necessary to produce well-rounded and able graduates.

A university, though, is more than just a learning institute. It is a place that functions as a critical link in a community's pursuit for growth and prosperity, where ideas become the solutions that will Canada and the world meet the challenges of the future.

It is a daunting task to have a vision and, even more so, to implement it effectively, but this is exactly what Mr. Doug Owram has done, securing UBCO's place as a leader, as an innovator and as a world-class campus of sustainability.

On behalf of all the constituents of Kelowna—Lake Country, I thank Doug for all his contributions to our community. We raise a glass of fine Okanagan wine in his honour and thank him for his leadership and lasting contribution to our community.

HIV-AIDSStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour an exceptional Canadian researcher, Dr. Julio Montaner, head of the division of AIDS at UBC and director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Montaner was recently awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to Austria, given to an individual who has provided outstanding services of public benefit to the country and the world. It cites, “Dr. Montaner's leadership and innovation in HIV and AIDS research has improved the lives of thousands of people in Austria and millions of people throughout the world”.

The award recognizes Dr. Montaner's leadership in promoting a major Canadian scientific discovery: highly active anti-retroviral treatment. HAART reduces the viral load of HIV by the second dose, making it impossible to transmit the disease.

Called “treatment as prevention”, it is hailed by WHO and UNAIDS. Other nations, including China, have implemented it, yet in Canada only British Columbia has done so, resulting in a consistent decline in new HIV cases there, while other provinces show an increase in HIV.

The federal government refuses to meet or acknowledge Dr. Montaner and this significant achievement. Once again, ideology prevails over science. What a shame.

Rocky Mountain HouseStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to the great things happening in and around the community of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.

This bustling and growing community brings opportunity for all businesses and people looking for employment. There is a robust energy sector with numerous companies that operate in the area. Forestry companies, sawmills and laminated lumber plants keep marching along. Farms and the agricultural sector still contribute greatly to the local economy as people diversity to keep pace.

Tucked close to the eastern slopes of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Rocky is the perfect gateway for outdoor pursuits in the west country. Home to tons of great events and organizations, like the Cow Lake Fish Derby, the Rocky Pro Rodeo, the Canadian Rockies Bluegrass Festival, David Thompson National Historic Site, the bi-annual Rocky air show, Northern Crossing Theatre Group and the Rocky and District Museum, Rocky has something that will pique the interest of people of all ages.

Rocky is also served by a great local media. Listeners can tune in to the always entertaining B94, or read from a gold medal winning newspaper, The Mountaineer , which just won first place in the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards as the best all-around small community weekly paper.

I encourage all Canadians to stop by Rocky Mountain House where adventure begins.

Lou Gehrig's DiseaseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, imagine people not being able to walk, write, smile, talk, eat and sometimes even breathe on their own and yet their mind remains intact and the senses unaffected. This is what having ALS is like for 2,500 to 3,000 Canadians who live with this disease.

I rise today to acknowledge June as ALS awareness month in Canada. The ALS Society of Canada was founded in 1977. It is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated solely to fight ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

As part of ALS Awareness Month, people will gather on Parliament Hill on June 4 to light 3,000 candles, one for every person living with ALS in Canada. Hon. members are invited to a reception on June 5 to learn more about the ALS community's efforts in Canada.

On June 16, participants in the Ottawa Walk for ALS at the Canadian War Museum will raise funds to support research and quality of life for all.

Let us get together and support ALS awareness.

2011 Manitoba FloodStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week, I again toured areas devastated by the Manitoba floods of 2011 and met with flood victims and municipal leaders.

Flood victims have had to deal with heartache and headache, and do not seem to be any closer to putting this ordeal behind them.

These people were artificially flooded by the province due to the operation of the Assiniboine diversion. Not one drop of water that enters the Assiniboine River naturally flows into Lake Manitoba. Water levels in Lake Manitoba are still high and there are no plans by the provincial government to build an outlet that can accommodate the higher flows.

Our federal government has improved the disaster financial assistance arrangements and advanced $50 million to the Province of Manitoba to help offset the costs of this flood. Economic action plan 2012 also provides $99 million over three years to assist with the cost of permanent flood mitigation.

The Province of Manitoba is the lead agency for operating emergency measures and processing claims, and its slow pace of settling claims for flood victims and municipalities is adding insult to injury.

It is time for the provincial government to show some resolve and come up with actual solutions and not excuses.

Ride to RememberStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the streets in front of the Hill were buzzing earlier today as motorcycle riders gathered for the 2012 Ride to Remember.

The Ride to Remember was founded in 2005 by Jewish motorcyclists in the U.S. as a way to remember those murdered in the Holocaust and to raise funds for Holocaust education. It has grown into an international event, as today's ceremony on the Hill attests.

Hosted this year by the Toronto motorcycle club, Yidden on Wheels, more than 250 riders from Canada, the U.S., Australia and Israel are participating. Riders from the Christian motorcycle group Mission: M25 have also joined in.

Two hours ago, the bikers departed Parliament HIll en route to Trenton and then on to Toronto in the Heroes Highway Ride to also commemorate our Canadian Forces. In Toronto, they will make the pledge of “Never Again!” at a memorial ceremony on Saturday. This pledge acknowledges and memorializes all of the innocent people, six million of them who were Jews, who were mercilessly exterminated by the vicious Nazi regime during World War II.

The pledge also reminds us to stay vigilant to stamp out the seeds of genocide, anti-Semitism and racial hatred.

YouthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, we talk a lot about what is in the 2012 budget, but little is said about what is not in it.

I want to talk about those most neglected in this budget, namely our youth, my generation, those who will have to bear the consequences of the changes to employment insurance and to old age security, and of the blatant lack of good faith of the Conservative government.

The NDP believes that the federal government has a role to play in post-secondary education, as it used to do before the drastic cuts in federal transfers to the provinces, made in 1995 by the Liberal government. Education is a pillar of our society. It is a right and it should be accessible to all, so as to provide our youth with all the opportunities that it deserves, as well as a chance to develop its full potential.

The Conservative government talks about job creation, but what about the training of future workers and their debt load? This government has ignored our youth for too long, and to ignore our youth is to ignore our future. I am rising today to be their voice and to tell them to have confidence, because the change will come in three years.

National Health and Fitness DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday I will launch National Health and Fitness Day in Whistler, West Vancouver and Lions Bay. This annual reminder began as a healthy way in which parliamentarians of all parties meet weekly to run, walk or swim together. We aim to encourage Canadians to aspire to healthier lifestyles.

These activities led to the first ever Bike Day on the Hill and the first ever National Life Jacket and Swim Day on the Hill earlier this month. I salute my colleagues who work together to promote healthy physical activities for all Canadians.

On National Health and Fitness Day, we encourage local governments across Canada to open recreational facilities at a reduced-rate basis to encourage increased participation.

I congratulate all 12 local governments in my riding and other local governments across Canada that have endorsed National Health and Fitness Day.

Parliamentarians, local governments and all Canadians, may we work together to make Canada the fittest nation on earth.

Youth Involvement in PoliticsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick, which was created in 1971, just finished a year of celebration marking its 40th anniversary. The objective of the federation is to represent and protect the interests of young Acadians and francophones. It promotes community leadership and involvement among our youth.

Young people want to be socially involved. Jason Godin is an example. Since May 14, Jason, who is 18 and who voted for the first time, is probably the youngest mayor in Canada. Voters in Maisonnette decided to give our youth a chance.

Jason, who is a business administration student and who sits on various boards, decided to run for mayor in Maisonnette, New Brunswick. I had the opportunity to talk to him since his election, and I am looking forward to working with him.

As a politician, I have nothing but admiration for young people who get socially involved, and we should support them.

On behalf of the NDP, I wish to congratulate Jason and all the young people who get involved in their community. Your participation is essential.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Conservative Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have long known that the Liberal Party does not trust parents to raise their own children. Now we have learned that the NDP does not trust our nation's veterans.

This week at committee, an NDP member said that veterans might just use their money to go on vacation. Outrageously, he even went so far as to suggest a veteran might not get his medication so that he could instead go on vacation somewhere hot. On this side of the House we thank and respect those who have served to keep our country safe.

The NDP leader must tell us why his party thinks that nation's heroes cannot be trusted to make the right decision for their health.

Our government will continue to work for our veterans, just like they worked for our country.

ME/CFS Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, May is ME/CFS Awareness Month, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to a severe, continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions. Four hundred thousand Canadians are bed-bound or house-bound with ME/CFS.

Often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, patients experience muscle aches, headaches and extreme fatigue. Although some patients completely recover after six months to a year, others never feel as they did before they developed CFS.

There is currently no cure for CFS, and so far treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms. As a physician, I know just how the strain of dealing with this disease often leads to depression and other psychological disorders, which make recovery that much more difficult.

Unfortunately, this condition still does not have the recognition it deserves. Increased awareness is the best way to defeat the stigma surrounding CFS.

We must also continue the fight to find a cure and give these Canadians back their lives.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a clear effort to save face, the leader of the official opposition is going on a tour of Canada's oil sands.

I hope, for the opposition leader's sake, that he changes his talking points and does not continue to call hard-working Canadians in the resource industry a “disease”. That is what he did. He called them a disease.

Our government recognizes the importance of Canadians in the resource industry. It is clear to us and most Canadians that the only disease is the NDP position that attacking hard-working Canadians is somehow acceptable.

I have to wonder what the member for Edmonton—Strathcona thinks of her leader's comments. Does she agree that her constituents, along with thousands of others across the country, are part of a “disease”?

Her silence tells me that she agrees with her leader's comments. Shame on her.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, “How's it going, eh?” When the toque-wearing, stubby-drinking hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie first graced our TV sets in the eighties they poked fun at some of the more humourous aspects of Canadian life. “Beauty, eh?” This beloved SCTV segment was born out of government policy aimed at encouraging the Canadian identity.

Founder Dave Thomas is a walk-of-fame actor and has represented Canada at home and abroad for 30 years. Dave has a unique perspective on where Canada is going and he does not like the direction the Prime Minister is taking. He described Conservative policies as “eroding the liberties of Canadians”. He said this Prime Minister is “the worst thing to happen to Canada”. It is like finding a case of beer with no mouse in it, eh?

We in the NDP applaud this Canadian icon for adding his voice to the growing opposition the Conservatives are facing, but do not worry, Dave: in 2015 every Canadian voter will finally get a chance to tell the Conservatives to “Take off, eh”.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

I doubt that, Mr. Speaker, because last night for the third night in a row the special committee studying the responsible resource development section of the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act sat for four hours to hear from witnesses. Conservative MPs were there and witnesses were there, but the NDP natural resources and environment critics were nowhere to be found.

The NDP's disappearance is on top of Tuesday night's presentation by the Liberals. Apparently they were unable to find anyone who supports their views, because the Liberal MP for Ottawa South was the Liberals' lone witness. When he did show up, his presentation was ruled out of order and he had to rewrite it on the spot in order to present.

If the critics for environment and natural resources were as serious about these issues as they have claimed, why are they not at committee to discuss them? We have given them unprecedented time at committee to debate the bill, and they have vanished.

They cannot have it both ways. They cannot claim this is the most critical issue in Parliament and then go missing in action.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, former Conservative fisheries minister Thomas Siddon is again sounding the alarm on the Conservatives' Trojan Horse bill. Last night he testified that he deplored this attack on environmental protection and that rushing these changes through is “not becoming of a Conservative government”.

His message to the Prime Minister was clear, that he should take his time and get it right.

Will the Prime Minister take the advice of his Conservative colleague? Will he split this reckless bill and allow for proper study?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the particular set of changes in the economic action plan will have more committee study than any budget bill in recent history by quite a magnitude. These are important measures to make sure that our environmental processes are both thorough and efficient, and encouraging of investment. I am glad to see the reaction we have received from investors and the Canadian public.

I look forward to these being passed into law.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

May 31st, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat ironic for New Democrats to have to defend the environmental record of a former Mulroney Conservative government against this very new and different breed of Conservatives.

There was a time when the Conservatives believed in protecting the environment. However, the Conservatives across the floor believe that this protection should be reduced. These changes will even allow cabinet to overturn National Energy Board rulings. The Conservatives are putting politics ahead of science.

Why are they afraid of transparency and science?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives support environmental protection as much as we do economic growth. That is the main difference between our two parties. The NDP thinks it is not possible to protect the environment and that it is necessary to shut down all the industries in Canada. Our position is that we can reconcile these two objectives and provide environmental protection and jobs for Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians from coast to coast to coast and across the political spectrum are concerned about environmental protection that the government is tearing up. Despite the Conservative attempts to intimidate all opposition, thousands upon thousands of Canadians are speaking up in defiance of these reckless attacks.

On June 4, a group of committed charitable Canadian organizations will be blacking out their websites in protest, Oxfam, Amnesty International, supported even by the former vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition. New Democrats will proudly stand with them.

The question is this. Will the government actually listen?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP member had bothered to check, he would see that the National Citizens Coalition is not a registered charity.

In any case, there are laws for registered charities that assure that, when people donate to charities, those moneys are not used for political activities but for the charitable purposes for which Canadians donate. We will obviously make sure those rules are respected, as the vast majority of good Canadian charities in fact respect them.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are looking for real leadership on the environment, and they are not finding it from the Conservatives.

After Mr. Siddon’s testimony last night, the Conservatives decided that they had had enough. After promising to appear before the committee, the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of Natural Resources are all now leaving us high and dry and refusing to defend their Trojan Horse.

Why are these ministers not going to appear?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague forgets that on the first day that the subcommittee met to consider Bill C-38, all three ministers met, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of Natural Resources and I. We provided two hours of enlightenment to an opposition that was hard-challenged to come up with questions material to the subcommittee's work.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the C-38 hearings, the Conservative majority is pushing through dozens of pieces of legislation with little study. With 753 clauses, that is just three minutes of study per clause.

Now even former Tory ministers are testifying that Conservatives railroading these changes through are wrong.

Last night it got even worse. The Conservatives voted to block bringing ministers back to testify. Why will they not come back? Is the Minister of Natural Resources afraid he will be called on his boast about drinking from tailing ponds?