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House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Brandon—Souris for his speech.

Since he brought up the subject of Manitoba and lower taxes in his speech, I wonder if he could talk about the fact that, when the NDP came to power in Manitoba, the tax rate for small businesses was 8%. Since December 2010, as he probably knows, that tax rate has been zero. Small businesses no longer have to pay taxes. This is stimulating Manitoba's economy and it is great for Manitobans.

There are about 100,000 businesses and 97% of them are small businesses. This is an excellent measure. I really do not understand why he is trying to scare people by saying that the NDP might raise taxes, when really, if we look at the facts, Manitoba has an excellent government and very good economic measures.

I would like to hear his comments on that.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was part of the provincial government in 1999 when the NDP won the majority and took over government. The NDP claimed that there was no money left in the till until it y found $1 billion. It spent that billion and continued to spend at a reckless amount. It is still spending above $500 million more in a province of 1.2 million people. That is what the NDP government is committed to spend and that is more than it will take in revenue this year. Plus, it continues to tax every living breathing individual and beyond now with the services it is now taxing people for.

It is simply an obvious case of numbers and the numbers do not add up for the Province of Manitoba. I do not want the NDP to ever be responsible for the numbers of Canada.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to a lot of talk about Manitoba. I am not sure if this is the right forum to get into arguing about the Government of Manitoba. One either wants to be an opposition member in Manitoba or a government member here. Therefore, I will stick to the budget that we are dealing with in this House as we talk about Bill C-38, and I have a very quick question.

A section in the legislation amends the Salaries Act to abolish the Public Appointments Commission that the Conservatives so excitedly brought in. I was wondering why they would do that.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, like all good governments, when we look at departments and do a strategic review of expenditures everything is up for discussion.

I would advise the member, and I suspect he was here at the time, that back when the commission was formally introduced, the opposition, in a minority government, railroaded the government into refusing the person we put forward as the chair of that committee and, therefore, we saw no more need for it.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all of us on this side are grateful for that excellent speech from the member for Brandon—Souris. It is a gold mine of information about an implementation act that has benefits across the board for Canadians.

However, the opposition members continue to complain about this being the shortest debate on budget implementation in a generation, even though no Liberal budget was ever debated this long under its government. They also complain that it covers too much ground. Could the member comment on the inter-relatedness of all of these measures?

To have a strong economy, an attractive jurisdiction for trade and investment, we need a stable financial sector. We need a responsible approach to resource development. We need jobs and growth and all of the enablers that go with it. Could he remind this House why all of these measures are needed in one bill?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, like all budgets and like all future budgets, there must be a thread of connectivity to them. If we do want more investment in our natural resource sector, we need to look at ways of expediting the approval or disapproval process for all the investments that will come into Canada over the next several years. We want to ensure that the people looking at Canada as an investment area will find Canada the most attractive. We have moved a long way in this bill. Obviously, a lot of things are being contemplated in this implementation bill but all, I would suggest, are necessary to move Canada forward.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, this has been a fascinating debate so far. We have heard the government blame the NDP for the economic collapse of Portugal and Greece. We heard another member tell us that all is not quite right in Manitoba these days. The member seems to be confused about which jurisdiction he represents. It has been an amazing day.

Some days one imagines that all members on the government side come from Pleasantville. In their world no senior has a problem paying rent. In their world seniors have a choice of putting their excess money in a tax free savings account or buying a retirement home? That is the kind of conversation those members have.

I am not quite sure what is being served in the government lobby before the Conservatives come out and say their speeches but one wonders if maybe they need to check the ingredients. However, the ingredients may not be accurate because, according to provisions in the budget implementation bill, food labelling will not be as accurate or we will not be as sure of their accuracy. The budget implementation bill that we are debating today contains elements that have nothing to do with the budget, which is what we are trying to get to the bottom of.

I will talk about a couple of things about the budget. The budget does nothing to address the chronic unemployment rate of our young people. The official rate for youth unemployment right now is just over 14%. However, everyone knows that the unofficial rate will be closer to 20%. That brings us into the range of the unemployment rate among young people in those European countries, such as Spain, that the Conservatives love to talk about. We are creating an economy in this country that leaves out our youth.

Government members like to talk about the great future of our economy. They also like to extol the virtues of Conservative fiscal management. They all have short memories. When the last majority Conservative government left office, it saddled Canadians with a massive public debt and deficit. Other Conservative governments enjoyed chumming up to those in the Bush administration in the United States. When it left office, it saddled the American people with huge, onerous public debt.

The present Conservative government has the largest deficit in Canadian history but those members try to ignore that fact as they talk about the choices that seniors have in our country.

I am honoured to serve the people of my riding of Davenport and to speak on their behalf today. I want to talk about a woman I met last week in my riding who is a small business owner. She works about 13 or 14 hours a day on her business and is also looking after an elderly parent. She asked me about the new rules with respect to OAS. She told me that she was working tirelessly and that she was looking forward to reaching the age of 65 but said that she was under the cutoff and that she would need to work until she was 67 years of age. Suffice it to say that she is not happy. The sentiment I heard from her is the same sentiment that I hear from people right across my riding and in fact across the city of Toronto.

People work hard, play by the rules, pay their taxes, raise their families and sometimes look after their parents. What do we see from the government? We see the government making cuts, for example, to immigrant settlement services in the city of Toronto. Those cuts will make it much harder for new Canadians to settle and get a foothold in our country and in our economy.

Raising the age for OAS is going to drag on the economy because we know that people who have very little means are going to spend just about every dollar they have on the economy. That is part of what a vibrant economy does. However, what is happening here is a delay for two years. If that had happened today, we would have thrown about another 100,000 seniors into poverty. Canadians remember, but we have to remind the government that it did not once mention OAS in its platform in 2011. In fact, what the Conservatives said was that they were not going to cut OAS, that they were not going to cut seniors' pensions. They have indeed done that.

The Conservatives also talk about 12 years from now being somewhere off in the distant future. That is just 12 years and it is going to go by in a heartbeat. For the woman in my riding who is working 13 hours a day trying to keep a business going, raise a family and look after an elderly parent, that 12 years is going to go by in a flash. However, she is going to have to work another couple of years before she can access what everyone else before her has been able to access in this country. This is not fair. Not only is it not fair, but it does not make economic sense in our country at all. Again, the government likes to talk about its savvy economic chops when it has yet to address the issue of 300,000 job losses in the manufacturing sector since the recession.

One member decided to take a whack at Manitoba. I guess the Conservatives are getting bored with taking a whack at Ontario, which they have done since I entered this House in May 2011. Ontario's manufacturing base has been battered and the government refuses to acknowledge that the economic platform and the one presented in this budget fail to address the employment and manufacturing crisis in Ontario. The Conservatives can talk all they want about the jobs, but $12 an hour is not enough for someone to afford shelter and certainly not enough to raise a family. These are the issues that Canadians are concerned about and want action on from their government. The fact that we are in a time allocation yet again underlines what Canadians increasingly understand, that while the government talks the talk of accountability and transparency, it has absolutely not walked the walk since it came here in 2011.

This is the kind of obfuscation and prevarication that Canadians are getting tired of from the government. We need a real debate about the economy and about youth unemployment. Not only are youth unemployed, but youth are increasingly saddled with increased student debt. So now the Conservatives are telling young people that when they leave school they are going to have a $25,000 to $50,000 debt and, by the way, they are not going to be able to find a job. I hear this in my riding all the time. I talk to parents whose 25-year-old children are still living at home; they have degrees, they have done the things the government says they should do, they have a higher education and they still cannot find a job. The government has not addressed that situation, and it has certainly not addressed it in Ontario. We look forward to that debate and to turning things around in 2015.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member opposite about jobs and, in particular, what he thinks about this government's jobs creation record and the fact that we have created 700,000 new jobs and, most importantly, that 90% of those jobs that were created since 2006 have been full-time jobs.

In my mind, it does not matter how old people are. These jobs are available to students who are graduating. They are available to middle-aged Canadians. They are available to older Canadians.

Does the member opposite believe that our strategy, which is to keep the economy strong and to look after the long-term prosperity of our country, is the right one to create jobs?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been waiting a year for someone from the government side to ask my opinion about its jobs policy. I can tell my hon. colleague across the way that there are people in my riding who have not one job, not two jobs, but three jobs. The reason they have three jobs is that none of them pays enough to properly afford their rent or child care or to put food on the table. They are in a mad scramble. That is not just a pretend story; that is a real story. It is happening right across the country, and the government is absolutely blind to it. That is what I think about the government's jobs record.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, one of the things many Canadians looked for in the budget debate was some demonstration of leadership on the health care file. Health care is the single greatest expenditure for virtually every province. There is a dependency on Ottawa not only to provide leadership in terms of standards and so forth, from coast to coast, but also to provide money and the secure feeling of a commitment that the government will be providing in the years ahead. I am referring more so, I guess, to the health care accord.

I wonder if the member might want to provide comment. Given there is so much in the budget, one of the things that seems to be lacking is any genuine commitment to the future of good quality heath care, based on the Canada Health Act. That is something I believe many Canadians are concerned about.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, indeed, Canadians are looking for a real debate on health care, and they do not want to read the story in the fine print of an omnibus bill to implement the budget.

That said, I think all of us on this side of the House look forward to supporting my hon. colleague from Parkdale—High Park's reasoned amendment that we should not be supporting this budget implementation bill.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened enthusiastically to the speech given by my hon. colleague. It was very interesting.

I would like to know a little more about the lack of leadership shown by this government, particularly concerning food inspection, but also concerning the environment and heritage, since we have also been talking a bit about these things.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for the opportunity to speak a little about the heritage file.

The government has cut about $200 million from heritage. One thing we have to remember is that when we invest in arts and culture in our country we make back our money at least twofold. Arts and culture is a major economic driver in the country, and to withstand the savage cuts that are in the budget makes absolutely no sense. It makes no sense on a nation-building front, but it also makes absolutely no sense on an economic front.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, in economic action plan 2012, our government is looking ahead, not only over the next few years but for the next generation. The reforms presented are substantial, responsible and necessary. They would ensure we remain focused on enabling and sustaining Canada's long-term economic growth.

More specifically, economic action plan 2012 would help create high-value and well-paying jobs by investing into entrepreneurship, innovation and world-class research. It would support jobs and growth by investing in training, infrastructure and responsible resource development, thereby providing new opportunities for young Canadians, first nations, newcomers and unemployed Canadians.

We believe in sustainable public finances, which is why we have found fair, balanced and moderate savings in government spending. Budget 2012 would take important steps to address the challenges and help take advantage of the opportunities in the global economy, while ensuring sustainable social programs and sound public finances for future generations here in Canada.

Our government recognizes that Canada's seniors have contributed enormously to our country and continue to do so. This is why we introduced new measures to improve their quality of life and expand their financial opportunities.

The ThirdQuarter project is an innovative online approach to help employers find experienced workers over 50 who want to keep using their skills in the workforce. We propose $6 million to extend and expand this successful project across the country.

Our government is also committed to improving the flexibility in choice for senior workers. For those wishing to work longer, we would provide them with an opportunity to voluntarily defer taking up the old age security benefit, starting in July 2013. Those who wish to do so would, of course, receive a higher annual adjusted pension.

With regard to OAS, our government is committed to sustaining our social programs and to securing retirement for Canadians. However, to ensure the sustainability of OAS, the age of eligibility must be raised. As a result, we would be gradually raising the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, starting in April 2023 and being at full implementation by January 2029. This is nothing new, as 22 of 34 OECD countries have increased or are planning to increase pension ages in their own public pension programs. Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States are increasing their statutory pension age to 67. The United Kingdom and Ireland are raising it to 68. The Netherlands will raise it to 67 and then link it to life expectancy.

Canada is linked to the global economy now more than ever. Increasing our age of eligibility for OAS from 65 to 67 is no longer a choice but a necessity.

The facts on OAS speak for themselves. The number of Canadians over the age of 65 will increase from 4.7 million to 9.3 million over the next 20 years. The OAS program is dated from a time when Canadians were not living that long. Canadians who are privileged to live today have healthier lives. Consequently, the cost of the OAS program would increase from $36 billion per year in 2010 to $108 billion per year in 2030. Meanwhile, by 2030, the number of taxpayers for every senior would be down to two, from four in 2010.

To ensure sustainability of OAS, the age of eligibility must be raised from 65 to 67. We have ensured that the changes are made with substantial notice and with an adjustment period and that they would not affect current retirees or those close to retirement and would give others plenty of time to adjust to the changes and plan for their retirement.

Along with supporting our seniors, we must support our students. We all want Canada's students to succeed in the global economy with the help the best education possible. That is why since 2006 our government has provided the much-needed support for our students.

However, in budget 2012, we would be doing even more to ensure Canadians are better equipped and better integrated into the workforce. We would be increasing support for youth employment opportunities with an additional $50 million spending on improving skills links and career focuses for students, through the youth employment strategy. We would also be doubling graduate interns in innovative firms by investing an additional $14 million, to double the resources of the industrial research and development intern program. This would place even more students into practical hands-on research internships in Canadian companies.

The goal is to have as many Canadians working as possible. Budget 2012 would take action to create jobs now and provide more opportunities to Canadians.

To create jobs now, we will be extending for one year the hiring credit for small businesses, a practical, proven measure that encourages businesses to hire more workers. We will provide new funding to improve border infrastructure and we will make new investments in local infrastructure through the community infrastructure improvement fund.

To provide more opportunities for Canadians, we will make it much easier for Canadians who are out of work to identify new opportunities and for employers to find workers they need. For EI recipients in areas of sporadic employment, we will initiate modest changes to the program to better focus our support for Canadians who are eager to work.

We will provide new incentives and opportunities for members of the first nations living on reserve to participate fully in our economy and to gain greater self-sufficiency.

Finally, we will take action to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system that will be better able to fill gaps in our labour force while at the same time attracting more of the entrepreneurs we need.

As a member of the Red Tape Reduction Commission, I am very pleased to speak on our government's continuing commitment to reducing regulatory burdens faced by businesses of all sizes. In January 2011, our government created the commission, fulfilling a budget 2010 promise. After a year of extensive Canada-wide consultations, the commission brought forth recommendations to reduce irritants to businesses that impede growth, competitiveness and innovation. One of our findings was implemented by the government earlier in the year: the one-for-one rule requiring the government to eliminate an existing regulation whenever it adopts a new one. This assures that at the very least, red tape will cease to increase.

As a former small business owner, I appreciate first-hand the vital role small businesses can have in creating jobs. Our government recognizes this too. That is why in budget 2012 we are committed to helping them grow and to succeed. We have concluded a number of key measures to support the growth of small businesses, including the extension of the hiring credit for small businesses, a temporary credit of up to $1,000 against a small firm's increase in its 2011 EI premiums over those paid in 2012. This temporary credit will help about 536,000 employers defray the costs of additional hiring.

We will be increasing direct support for business innovation by providing $110 million per year to the National Research Council. This in turn will double support to small businesses through the industrial research assistance program and expand the services provided to businesses through the program's industrial technology advisers.

There will be $95 million spent over three years and $40 million per year ongoing to make the Canadian innovation commercialization program permanent, which will help Canadian businesses demonstrate their innovative products and services through federal procurement.

Finally, $14 million will be spent to expand the industrial research and development internship program in order to place more Ph.D. students into practical research internships in businesses.

Speaking of Ph.D.s, situated very close to my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook is McMaster University. I was delighted to see that it will be receiving $6.5 million over three years for research projects to evaluate ways to achieve better health outcomes for patients while also making the health care system more cost-effective. Having met with a number of constituents attending McMaster University, I am sure they will be pleased with our government's commitment to this sound institution.

The global economy is changing, and the competition for the brightest minds is intensifying. The pace of technological change is creating new opportunities while making older business practices obsolete. Canada's long-term economic competitiveness in this emerging knowledge economy demands globally competitive businesses that innovate and create high-quality jobs. Budget 2012 announces a commitment of over $1.1 billion over five years to support research and development and $500 million for venture capital. These investments and actions will keep our economy strong, create high-quality jobs and ensure that Canada is a premier destination for the world's brightest minds.

In closing, let me say that I believe this budget delivers our promise to maintain a steady course toward both economic recovery and deficit reduction. I applaud the Minister of Finance and I urge all of my colleagues to support Canada and support this budget.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Order, please.

The time for government orders has expired. Questions and comments for the hon. member for Niagara West—Glanbrook will take place when the House returns to this matter.

Governor General's HonoureesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize two of my constituents who were recently presented with honours by the Governor General here in Ottawa.

Darren Bieber of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, was awarded the Medal of Bravery for his heroic efforts in rescuing a passenger from a submerged vehicle on April 28, 2007, just outside Stoughton, Saskatchewan. Mr. Bieber, along with Mark Janke of Elbow, Saskatchewan, took care of the survivors until emergency crews arrived on the scene.

Also, Larry Pearson from Weyburn was presented with the Caring Canadian Award for his work in recognizing members of the Canadian Forces, although he himself has never served. Mr. Pearson is active in the Weyburn branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and is committed to ensuring that our men and women in uniform are honoured by Canadians for all that they do.

As the member of Parliament for Souris—Moose Mountain and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate Mr. Bieber and Mr. Pearson on their recent awards.

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry SocietiesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the start of National Elizabeth Fry Week. This week Elizabeth Fry societies across the country will hold community events to enhance public awareness regarding the circumstances of marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized women and girls.

The 26 chapters of Elizabeth Fry societies aim to break down the negative stereotypes that exist about women in conflict with the law. They ask us to see that it is the survival activities resulting from inequality, poverty and homelessness that are increasingly likely to be the causes of their criminalization. They draw our attention to the fact that young first nations women are significantly overrepresented in Canada's prison population.

Since 1969, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies has worked to increased the availability of community-based social, health and educational resources for women and girls to help keep them out of prison. I would like to thank the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies for its continuing commitment to providing services for marginalized women and girls, both offenders and victims. Perhaps most importantly, I want to thank the association for reminding us all to look beyond the marginalization of the women they work with so that we can once again see the positive potential in all Canadians.

VeteransStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Toet Conservative Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, this weekend I was pleased to spend some time with veterans and members from the Prince Edward, Elmwood and Henderson Highway legion branches in Winnipeg. We gathered together to pay tribute to veterans at the regional Decoration Day parade. I was honoured to lay a wreath and speak on behalf of the Government of Canada at this event.

A few weeks prior to this I was in the Netherlands, where I and some of my fellow members of Parliament attended a ceremony and laid a wreath at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. The soldiers buried there were from the regiments that liberated my mother and her family from Enschede in the Netherlands.

These two events were reminders again of the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Canadian Forces, sacrifices they made to assure not only our freedom here in Canada but also the freedom of many others in countries far abroad. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to remind both young and old Canadians of how important it is for all of us to never forget these wonderful men and women who have fought so bravely for the freedoms we at times take for granted.

Let us never forget.

700 David Hornell VC SquadronStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago I had the tremendous honour of reviewing the outstanding cadets of 700 David Hornell VC Squadron, which has been serving the youth of Etobicoke since 1960. The squadron is named after a native of Etobicoke who was one of only two RCAF airmen to be awarded the Victoria Cross in World War II.

Over 200 young people aged 12-18 years belong to this award-winning squadron. They excel in band, debating team, drill team, effective speaking and precision rifle team. In fact, they were recognized by the Air Cadet League as the top squadron in central Ontario in 2011, under the command of Major David Forster. The air cadet program develops citizenship and leadership, encourages fitness and fosters an interest in civil and military aviation.

I celebrate our extraordinary youth. Our future is brighter because of their efforts, and I am enormously proud of each and every one of them.

Sunshine Foundation of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Established in 1987 by a London couple after the loss of their son, the Sunshine Foundation has grown to become a national charity that makes dreams come true for children with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. I salute executive director Nancy Sutherland, her staff and Canadian volunteers and financial supporters. Their clear vision is that every Sunshine child should live his or her dream.

As a member of the national board of directors, I was personally touched to participate just a couple of weeks ago in the Sunshine DreamLift in Ottawa that sent 80 of our kids, Canada's kids, to Disney World for the day. For these young people, it was life-changing. Approximately 50,000 children across Canada medically qualify for a Sunshine dream. They have endured more than we could imagine. These kids have entrusted us with their most personal dreams, and we cannot let them down.

We continue to grow and raise awareness of Sunshine in communities across the country. Together we can make Sunshine dreams a reality for Canada's kids.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday a new report was tabled in this House concerning the state of Canadian pipelines and refineries.

We support a central component of the report's main recommendation: that any changes to the environmental assessment process should not “reduce the current public access to the review process”.

A mere day after this report was tabled, the government dumped its giant budget bill on this House. The budget bill tears out the heart of the environmental assessment process and greatly limits public participation.

These changes concern my constituents. Kinder Morgan has formally announced plans to build a giant new crude oil pipeline through the centre of our city. Under the new budget bill laws, there is no guarantee that any public participation will be allowed on this project.

The government should abide by the committee's recommendations. It should ensure it does not reduce the public's ability to voice their legitimate concerns on this or any other major development.

Portage—Lisgar Hockey TeamsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I congratulate two exceptional hockey teams from my riding of Portage—Lisgar.

The Pembina Valley Hawks girls' hockey team won the western female midget hockey championship and went on to win the nationals at the Esso Cup in Charlottetown, P.E.I., just one week ago.

This victory marks Manitoba's first national midget women's title since 2009. The team did a great job.

Congratulations also to the Portage Terriers who, for the fourth time in the last five years, are champions of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Having recently played in the Anavet Cup against Saskatchewan's Humboldt Broncos, the Portage Terriers will move on to show those Broncos who is really the best in the west by clobbering them on their home turf.

In fact, they kicked off the RBC Cup last night with a huge win. These talented youth are reminders of the pride and spirit of our community and of the love of hockey that defines Canadians.

Good luck to the Portage Terriers, and congratulations to both teams.

Prevention of Skin CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is Melanoma Monday, and we are raising awareness of common yet preventable skin cancer.

My wife Kelly has survived melanoma skin cancer on more than one occasion. While she was fortunate enough to beat it, not everyone will be so lucky. Out of the 5,500 Canadians who are diagnosed with melanoma annually, 950 will die from it.

UV radiation from the sun and artificial tanning beds are the main causes of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. The World Health Organization has found sufficient and compelling evidence linking indoor tanning to melanoma and has ranked tanning beds as a level one carcinogen to humans, placing them on the same level as tobacco, mustard gas and asbestos. Studies have shown that using tanning beds at a young age increases the risk of skin cancer by 75%. Regrettably, more of our youth are using tanning beds.

I recently tabled a private member's bill that would prohibit anyone under 18 years of age from using tanning beds and would keep our youth out of this dangerous equipment.

Today members of the Canadian Dermatology Association are screening parliamentarians for melanoma, and I encourage all Canadians to get screened for skin cancer.

Champions of Mental Health AwardsStatements By Members

May 7th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to congratulate the winners of the 10th annual national Champions of Mental Health Awards from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health.

The award recognizes the outstanding contributions that Canadians have made to advance the mental health agenda: Mr. Michael Landsberg, a TSN broadcaster; Cardinal Newman Peer Mentors, of Stoney Creek, Ontario; Senator W. David Angus, Q.C.; Scott Chisholm, founder of the Collateral Damage Project; and Dr. Trang Dao.

Mental illness and poor mental health have a profound impact on Canadian society. It is estimated that one out of every five Canadians suffer from mental illness, and tonight they will celebrating them in an awards evening.

On behalf of our leader and New Democrats from coast to coast to coast, we congratulate all the winners of this year's 2012 Champions of Mental Health Awards.

Ceremony of RemembranceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, this weekend Ontario held its Ceremony of Remembrance for police officers who have fallen in the line of duty.

Hundreds of Ontario's finest have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of keeping our streets and communities safe. Words cannot convey our appreciation for those who serve us every day on the front lines.

Sadly, far too often this service ends in cutting short the lives of brave men and women at the hands of thugs and criminals bent on terrorizing society.

Three names were added to the cenotaph this year, including Constable Garret Styles, who died this year in East Gwillimbury. To his family and to all our heroes in Ontario and across Canada, I thank them.