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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Canada-Indonesia RelationsStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, as co-chair of the Canada-Indonesia Parliamentary Friendship Group, I was delighted to welcome to Ottawa this week a delegation from the Indonesian house of representatives. Seven parliamentarians representing the Indonesia-Canada friendship group are in Canada this week meeting with Canadian lawmakers and administrators, seeking ways to better understand each other and to strengthen the relationship between our two countries.

Our members of Parliament and senators had a fruitful dialogue with the visiting MPs and we had the opportunity to exchange ideas on furthering our relationship. Topics raised included human rights, co-operation on fighting terrorism and Indonesia's role as a key player within ASEAN.

As they conclude their visit, I wish them a safe journey back to Indonesia.

ImmigrationStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, according to a recent countrywide vote conducted by canadianimmigrant.ca, it is my pleasure to announce that a good friend and former parliamentarian has just been chosen as one of Canada's top 25 immigrants.

This individual is a retired lung specialist for children and a pediatric professor. He is an author of several papers and chapters for medical journals and books and is the first ever Filipino Canadian elected to Canada's Parliament and appointed senior cabinet minister in the Government of Canada.

His achievements and contributions to our nation since he arrived in Canada over 40 years ago is what I believe makes him truly a deserving recipient of this award. He has indeed inspired and motivated many other Canadian immigrants by serving as a role model, showing that hard work and determination are the key to success.

Today, it is my honour to congratulate Dr. Rey Pagtakhan.

Town of CobourgStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize and celebrate the 175th anniversary of the town of Cobourg. Founded in 1837, Cobourg has served as an economic hub for the surrounding region and will continue to be a leading community in eastern Ontario. Cobourg has a rich historical heritage. In fact, the town was home to the first post-Confederation life-saving marine rescue centre, established by the Government of Canada in 1882.

This year also marks the 200th anniversary of a battle fought near the town during the war of 1812. Furthermore, Cobourg is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the appointment of Canada's first judge advocate general, Major-General Henry Smith, whose burial site was recently discovered in Cobourg.

I ask all members of the House join me in saluting and paying tribute to the hard-working people of Cobourg as they celebrate this historical and significant year.

Happy anniversary Cobourg.

Foreign AffairsStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to bring an issue of great urgency to the attention of the House and Canadians.

Over the past two days, an estimated 600 Tibetans have been detained in Lhasa after two more young Tibetans joined those who have self-immolated in protest of religious and cultural oppression by the Chinese authorities. This Wednesday, a mother of three self-immolated in protest.

After years of repression, Tibetans have reached a breaking point. Young monks and nuns are acting out of sheer frustration. Canada must act to end the suffering and work to improve the lives of the Tibetan people.

During his visit to China, the Prime Minister promised a good and frank dialogue on fundamental principles. The Government of Canada must now reach out to the Chinese government and urge a peaceful and quick resolution to the current situation. We can and must save innocent lives.

Violet NelsonStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, on May 23, I was in Winnipeg for the grand opening of the Kihiw Iskewock Lodge, a new housing facility for women exiting correctional facilities, championed by the Native Women's Transition Centre. When the well-known chairwoman of the board did not arrive, it was very unusual. We later learned that Violet Nelson, the chairwoman, was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident en route to the grand opening.

Violet was passionate about services for aboriginal women and children. That is why this new lodge was so important to her. It would give women who had made some mistakes hope and opportunity to be self-sufficient and to secure stable housing as they transitioned away from a life of crime.

She also donated countless hours to the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre and aboriginal Girl Guides among others. Violet's family and her children are devastated and her death is a big blow to our community.

Canada has lost a strong, proud and extremely caring aboriginal woman who at age 35 leaves us far too soon.

For all that Violet gave and all that she did, meegwetch. She will be deeply missed.

ArmeniaStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, May 28 is a significant date for Armenians in Canada, Armenia and around the world. On that date in 1918, the first Republic of Armenia declared its independence following the horrors of the Armenian genocide. Although the new republic was forcibly annexed by the Soviet Union in 1920, even 94 years later May 28, 1918, remains an important date for all Armenians.

The Republic of Armenia is again an independent country after declaring its independence on September 21, 1991. I had the honour to visit Armenia in 2010 and saw first-hand Armenia's functioning democracy and vibrant culture.

This past Monday here on Parliament Hill, members of Parliament and Senators commemorated this 94th anniversary with members of Canada's Armenian community. His Excellency Armen Yeganian, Armenia's ambassador to Canada, addressed the group.

I am honoured to serve as chair of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and to have shared in this historic commemoration.

The BudgetStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

François Pilon NDP Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, in the course of my duties, I had the opportunity to visit two western Canadian provinces. Even there, people were appalled by the Conservatives' mammoth Bill C-38.

Last week in my riding, people were even angrier. This bill amends or repeals laws that directly impact my Laval—Les Îles constituents: old age security, cuts to environmental agencies and changes to the Employment Insurance Act, to name but a few.

My constituents are furious. Day after day, they tell me that, when the next general election comes around in 2015, they will elect a government that listens to workers, Canadian families and all Canadians. In October 2015, they will elect an NDP government because we are fit to govern.

National Brain Injury Awareness MonthStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I had the privilege of attending a gala to honour brain injury survivors in my riding of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to them by reminding everyone that today marks the first day of National Brain Injury Awareness Month, as designated by the Brain Injury Association of Canada. The goal this month is to highlight the effects and causes of acquired brain injury and its prevention.

Brain injury is the number one killer and disabler of people under the age of 44. Statistics further indicate that incidences are two times greater within the male population. Recognizing the challenges associated with brain injuries, our government recently announced $100 million for the Canada brain research fund.

I would like to encourage all members of this House to become involved with grassroots brain injury associations in their ridings. They should take the time to listen to survivors and family members speak out about the support and guidance they have received. Their courage and determination are truly inspiring.

Aerospace IndustryStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, 17 pages of the Conservatives' Trojan Horse budget bill were devoted to speaking about innovation. However, when it came to funding made-in-Canada satellite technology, the budget was silent. I will not be.

The RADARSAT Constellation mission is the leading edge of Canada's innovation in space. Once launched, it will be able to detect oil spills both at sea and from pipelines and it will monitor the Northwest Passage as well as ice floes and icebergs in the Atlantic. It can track forest fires and flooding to protect Canadians from natural and even man-made threats.

The government's refusal to extend funding is precipitating a brain drain of highly skilled engineers and scientists who are packing their bags and leaving Canada to go and work for the competition.

In Brampton, 100 jobs have already been lost, and 150 more are at risk in Richmond, Montreal and Brampton. These are the people who built the Canadarms.

The project is due to run out of funds by the end of August, and it is time for Conservatives to stop playing games and fund RADARSAT.

Canadian Forces DayStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday, Canadians will celebrate Canadian Forces Day. Our brave men and women in uniform serve their country with pride at home and abroad. Their dedication to protecting our freedom and sovereignty is treasured by every Canadian. Canadians show their pride and appreciation by wearing red on Fridays.

Later today, the streets of our nation's capital will be awash in red as thousands take part in a walk/run in red event. It is through events like this and the personal gestures of millions of Canadians who wear red every Friday that we can continue to thank them.

On behalf of my constituents, this House and all Canadians, I want to thank the members of our Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force for their extraordinary and brave service.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak of the alarming suicide rate in first nations communities and, in particular, the plight of Pikangikum First Nation, home to not only the highest suicide rate in Canada but, shockingly, the highest suicide rate in the world. Equally shocking is that 90% of residents are unemployed, which combined with inadequate housing, lack of access to education and pervasive poverty lead inevitably to problems of violence and addiction.

While it was welcome news this week that Ontario's Chief Coroner will hold a joint inquest into the deaths of seven first nations teenagers, including one from Pikangikum, more must be done to address and prevent deaths in first nations communities, including suicides, particularly among the young.

Parliament must make this an issue of the highest priority, alongside the shocking incidents of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls as well as the redressing of past wrongs, as raised in my meeting this week with the chiefs of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They report that of the hundreds, if not thousands, of indigenous children who died in residential schools, many of their parents were never notified, their graves are unmarked and their identities may be lost forever.

We can and must do better, lest we learn nothing from the tragedy of Pikangikum or the sad legacy of residential schools or murdered aboriginal women and continue to allow first nations communities to suffer such unspeakable horrors.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP's energy and natural resources critic is at it again. We all know he has led the NDP charge on nearly every trade treaty deal that has come before the House during his time here. He opposes trade deals with countries on several continents and even supported the U.S. in its buy American policy, which unfairly discriminates against Canadian exports. He should be ashamed of himself.

This weekend, he is taking it a step further. Attacking the natural resources sector, he is attending a Council of Canadians conference that actually opposes the mining industry and Canadian companies around the world. The member for Burnaby—New Westminster is spending his weekend attacking trade and our resource sector.

We know the NDP members think that natural resources are a disease, but such positions will cost Canadian families jobs and prosperity at a time when they are needed most. He and his anti-oil-sands party and leader should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

Conservative GovernmentStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives were propelled into power by surfing the wave of the sponsorship scandal, promising major democratic reforms and a more transparent and accountable government.

Six years later, what is left of those promises? Nothing more than a sour taste in our mouths.

They have already begun sabotaging their own law on ethics by eliminating the Public Appointments Commission. They are disregarding the most basic parliamentary principles by hiding all kinds of irresponsible measures in their Trojan Horse budget bill. They support an unelected Senate and have stacked it with their cronies. They do not hesitate to violate fundamental rights with their back-to-work legislation and they muzzle their backbench MPs. The Conservatives have become everything they once scorned, everything they condemned in the election campaign.

Soon, however, in 2015, Canadian voters will remind them that, in a democracy, when a party does not keep its promises, it does not remain in power.

Restoring Rail Service LegislationStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week our government took swift action to protect the Canadian economy by passing back-to-work legislation for CP Rail. CP Rail, a company whose trains carry over $540 million in goods per week for the Canadian economy, went on strike for a week. Our government pulled out all the stops to protect thousands of Canadian jobs and the economy, like those at Honda in my riding of Simcoe—Grey. We were pleased to see the bill receive royal assent last night and to get the trains running again.

Unfortunately, the NDP members continue to ignore the best interests of Canadians and stand up only for their big union bosses, and the Liberals tried to delay the legislation because they would rather put thousands of Canadian jobs at risk and damage the Canadian economy than act in the interests of the public.

Our government will continue to stand up for the best interests of Canadians and create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Why does the opposition not ever support any of these actions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Medical Association is worried about the impact of air pollution on our seniors.

People aged 65 and older face a greater risk of suffering from cardiac problems than youth or adults. With our aging population, this proportion will only continue to increase.

Cuts to environmental programs go against the interests of seniors. The Conservatives also want to cut old age security. Can they at least spare the health of our seniors?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously the health of Canada's seniors remains a top priority for the Government of Canada.

Despite a $50 billion deficit just a few short years ago, the government has honoured our commitment to the health care system in this country like no other government in Canadian history. Despite difficult economic times, we have increased the transfers to the provinces and territories by 6% a year, every single year since the government came to power.

The first thing we did in looking for savings and reductions was to exempt the transfer for health care to the provinces. That is an unparalleled commitment to our seniors and to Canada's publicly funded health care system.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will try another one. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, four former federal fisheries ministers, two of them Conservatives, raise serious concerns about the Fisheries Act changes that the Conservatives are trying to sneak through in their budget bill. They are “....especially alarmed about any possible diminution of the statutory protection on fish habitat...”.

This is not about misguided attacks that take 25-year-old comments out of context. It is about today's changes. It is about communities, experts and even former fisheries ministers who are raising the alarm.

Why will the Conservatives not stand down the attacks and listen?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what the government is doing. We are introducing changes that will focus our fish and fish habitat protection rules on fisheries, not on farmers. The current rules do not distinguish between vital waterways, lakes and rivers that support local fisheries, and drainage ditches, man-made reservoirs and irrigation channels that are not even home to fish.

What we are doing is trying to focus fisheries protection on fish habitat, not on farmers' fields.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I understand I was missed Wednesday at the Trojan horse subcommittee hearings.

However, while I was working on my file, do members know who was missing in action at the hearings? The Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Conservative ministers are not too keen to come back to committee and explain why they are killing environmental assessments, gutting the Fisheries Act and muzzling scientists.

I will be back at committee next week. The question is, will they?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I, like all members of the House, did miss the participation of the deputy leader of the New Democratic Party. I am so thrilled to see her back in her place today.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of the Environment appeared before the committee, as ministers always do when budgets are presented. They have appeared in this House each and every day, they or their parliamentary secretaries, to be accountable, to be responsive to members of this House.

What we want to focus on, though, is not process. We want to focus on building long-term prosperity for this great country. We are pleased with the economic growth of 1.9% we saw in the first quarter. More work remains to be done. Let us focus, like a laser, on job creation and on economic growth.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, being a Conservative minister means not having to be accountable.

The quiet elimination of the position of Inspector General of CSIS shows just how ridiculous the budget bill is. Normally, this type of change would be found in a bill on public safety. That bill would then be debated and examined in committee. Instead, the Conservatives have put this measure in a Trojan Horse bill.

Why are the Conservatives afraid of open debate?

The BudgetOral Questions

June 1st, 2012 / 11:20 a.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we have answered this question, but maybe the member opposite did not hear it. The responsibilities of the office of the Inspector General will be merged into the Security Intelligence Review Committee. This decision will preserve all of the oversight and accountability of CSIS while reducing administrative costs, saving taxpayers $1 million a year.

Maybe $1 million a year is not very much to the opposition, but it is a lot to taxpayers in Canada.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is just one of the very dangerous changes the government is making.

Bill C-38 has 753 clauses, given just 3 minutes of study each. These include changes that would gut environmental legislation, changes that would force Canadians to work longer, cuts to health transfers, cuts to EI, cuts to food inspectors, sweeping immigration changes and an attack on charities. The government is even giving away the powers of the Auditor General.

Why is the government hiding all of this from public hearings? Is it afraid to take on the official opposition, or is it just trying to pull a fast one on Canadians? Which is it?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as all Canadians know, this government is focused on jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

We heard on March 29, that after only a few minutes, the NDP and the Liberals voted against budget 2012. They voted against things like extending the hiring credit for small businesses, things like investing in the youth employment strategy, economic opportunities for our aboriginal youth, the opportunities fund to help Canadians with disabilities get into the jobs market, improving job market information for Canadians and on and on.

It is disgraceful that the NDP stands up and talks like we are not doing enough. We have created 750,000 jobs—

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville.