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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Republic of the Philippines Independence DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, mabuhay.

This upcoming Tuesday, June 12, marks the 114th anniversary of the Philippines' independence. In celebration of this great occasion, this weekend Canadians of Filipino decent will be gathering across the country. One such celebration will be taking place in my riding of North Vancouver.

This event, organized by the Metro Vancouver Philippine Arts and Culture Exposition Society, is one of the biggest Filipino Independence Day celebrations in Canada.

Every year thousands of people descend on Waterfront Park at the foot of the north shore to take in all things Filipino. With music, dancing and fabulous food, this event brings together the entire community and showcases the wonderful heritage of the Philippines.

More than celebrating Philippine independence, this weekend lets us celebrate the many contributions the Filipino community makes to Canada. I am looking forward to joining in the celebrations.

[Member spoke in Filipino as follows:]

Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan.

Parks and Recreation MonthStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize June as Parks and Recreation Month in Canada.

Parks and recreation opportunities are essential for strengthening and maintaining a healthy community, and the positive impacts are evident. Recreation brings people together, encourages safe, clean neighbourhoods and creates a livelier atmosphere.

Parks and recreation facilities also help to improve images, social and economic status and enhance the area's desirability.

Recreation gives individuals of all ages good opportunities to be actively involved. This in turn helps them to learn positive lessons about responsibility and respect for others and gives them the chance to give back to their communities.

In my riding of Oshawa, Lakeview Park is a popular area and a favourite of my constituents.

I salute the parks and recreation community leaders across Canada for the dedication they provide to ensuring all Canadians have access to quality and affordable parks and recreation opportunities.

I encourage everyone to celebrate park month by enjoying our outdoors and parking themselves in a park.

Festivals in Brome—MissisquoiStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, festival season is starting up across the country, and my riding is no exception. Many festivals will be held between now and September all around Brome—Missisquoi.

The Lake Champlain bike day is being held this Saturday. Country music lovers have the first-ever Bromont Country Blues festival to look forward to, and, to round out the month of June, we have the Bromont air show.

This year is also the centennial of the beautiful community of Pike River.

The Potton multicultural festival will be a fun-filled day for people of all ages. The 34th International Crossing of Lake Memphremagog will take place at the end of July and beginning of August.

Finally, the summer season will close with the Magog-Orford wine and harvest festival in early September.

I am inviting everyone to come to the Eastern Townships. Once people go there, they never want to leave.

Have a good summer and enjoy the festivals.

Ducks Unlimited CanadaStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2013 Ducks Unlimited Canada will celebrate 75 years of conservation excellence, and I would like to congratulate it on this upcoming milestone.

Ducks Unlimited has worked with government on conservation programs for 25 years and has delivered measurable results, conserving millions of acres of Canadian wetlands while preserving outdoor and hunting traditions. It is also a key partner in the highly successful North American waterfowl management plan, which helped fund thousands of projects to preserve over 25 million acres across North America.

Some of the most important waterfowl migration habitats are located in southern Ontario along the Great Lakes, and the efforts of Ducks Unlimited volunteers in Ontario are appreciated in the Niagara region.

Ducks Unlimited is also part of the government's new hunting and angling advisory panel, which will help ensure our government continues to make decisions based on sound scientific advice.

Our government believes in both economic growth and environmental protection and looks forward to working with Ducks Unlimited to preserve the environment for future generations.

It is about the economy and it is about the environment. Ducks Unlimited is helping us get it right.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people, I rise to speak about the massive educational deficit that is an obstacle to transforming the unequal relationship between first nations and wider Canadian society.

Two ongoing efforts merit attention. Each focuses on tackling gaps in knowledge of non-aboriginal Canadians. One effort is that of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools. Its interim report calls for comprehensive public awareness efforts on the part of the federal government. A second effort is the Third World Canada Tour this coming November. This joint initiative of the first nation community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and filmmaker Andrée Cazabon will engage Canadians on the challenges first nations communities face and work toward building deeper understanding through peer-based education.

I hope these two efforts signal the beginning of a paradigm shift in how we think about Canadian education and I hope we as parliamentarians can be part of that shift.

Retirement CongratulationsStatements By Members

June 8th, 2012 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Montreal Canadiens had only seven Stanley Cup wins when Red Fisher started his career as a sports reporter. In the almost six decades since, both Red and the Habs have had many successes to their names.

A National Newspaper Award winner for his coverage of the Canadiens and all sports, he has had an amazing career. He started reporting on the local hockey club the night of the Maurice Richard riot. His reporting has chronicled many important moments in Montreal and Canadian sporting life ever since. In terms of longevity, he is the longest-serving beat writer of any national hockey league club.

Since the rise of online sports coverage, hockey fans the world over have been able to read his Montreal Gazette articles. I, like many sports fans in the government, will miss his regular columns.

My Conservative colleagues and I want to wish Mr. Fisher a long, happy retirement.

Central Development CorporationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I thank the staff, past and present, of Central Development Corporation for their great work in assisting communities, individuals and businesses with economic development initiatives. The CDC has been instrumental in economic and community development in my riding of Malpeque, but sadly, as with all the economic development organizations, it is being eliminated by this government.

Responsible for managing over $9 million in assets, small industrial development parks and projects too many to mention, the CDC has made an amazing contribution to communities. The local board of directors provided the advice that is in great part responsible for its success. I thank it, indeed. Gone too will be its assistance to the young millionaires program, which for over 20 years instilled young people with the skills necessary to thrive in the business world.

In closing, I have no choice but to condemn the Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie) for gutting the CDC, which will deprive P.E.I. of the localized support for economic development.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the indulgence of one becomes the burden of another through excessive taxation. The excess of one generation becomes the yoke of the next through government borrowing. The profligacy of one nation becomes the hardship of another through international bailout. Everybody takes, nobody makes, work does not pay, indulgence does not cost, money is free and money is worthless.

Such is the sumptuous Euro welfare state that has led nine euro currency countries to be downgraded, including Portugal and Greece, which now have debt levels that are considered junk status by all rating agencies.

However, no worry. The NDP wants Canadian taxpayers to come to the rescue with a multi-billion dollar international bailout.

The NDP's policies have led to the kinds of consequences we see in Europe. Canada acted responsibly with low-debt, low-tax and low-cost government. That is why we are not in that situation. Canadian dollars will stay in the Canadian economy to create Canadian jobs.

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian voters need to be saved from the Conservatives.

New and disturbing information is coming to light about Conservative interference at a polling station in Toronto during the last election. According to new reports, the Etobicoke Centre Conservative campaign manager, Roman Gawur, caused a disturbance at the St. Demetrius seniors residence, blocking seniors from voting for over an hour. The deputy returning officer called the Conservative campaign manager's actions “obstruction”.

Even more insidious is that it seemed premeditated. There was a bus waiting to leave for a day trip to Casino Rama, but the Conservative-created disturbance went on just long enough to ensure some seniors did not get a chance to vote.

Conservatives will be even more scared in the next election when seniors have an opportunity to pass judgment on the Conservatives' attack on retirement pensions and security. Dirty tricks at election time have become routine with these Conservatives. Shame on them.

Political DonationsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, twice in the last year the NDP has been found in breach of Canada's election financing laws.

First, in August, it was forced by Elections Canada to admit it was guilty of illegally issuing tax receipts to a left-wing think tank. On Tuesday, Elections Canada confirmed that the NDP's union sponsorships at its 2011 convention were unquestionably illegal donations. It has been forced to pay them back. Yesterday, I wrote to the Commissioner of Elections Canada to ask him to review what seem to be corporate sponsorships, during the NDP's 2012 leadership convention, found in its leadership convention guide.

What has been the NDP's reaction to these charges? Have the members come out and apologized? No. In fact, the NDP member for Saint-Jean said that these illegal sponsorships were none of Canadians' business. The NDP members need to come clean and be transparent with Canadians about these sponsorships. Just how much illegal money have they raked in anyway?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the former Conservative chair of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, Bob Mills, took his colleagues to task. He gave a stern warning that Canadians will pay dearly for the Conservatives' imbalanced approach to the environment.

By doing away with the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, the Conservatives are losing valuable research and analysis expertise, and this will weaken our economy and our environment.

Do they understand this?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is no shortage of environmental advocacy organizations, science-based organizations, advocacy organizations and public policy think tanks in Canada and around the world that can inform this valuable policy development. We certainly think that a lot has changed in the last 25 years.

I particularly liked Bob Mills when he spoke so passionately against the Kyoto protocol. I wonder whether my friend opposite agrees with Bob Mills on that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wonder how bad it has to get before these guys will listen? It is not just Bob Mills sounding the alarm now. There are also former Conservative ministers like Tom Siddon, who warns that the changes to the Fisheries Act are making Swiss cheese out of fisheries protections.

Conservatives are ignoring anyone who happens to disagree with them, ramming through a bill that puts our environment, our fisheries and the communities that rely upon these industries at risk. When will they finally take the good advice of their former friends and split this bill, or are they just waiting until they have no friends left at all?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have brought forward some common sense reforms to environmental approvals, including in the Fisheries Act, to ensure that we focus on protecting fish habitat and not on over-regulating farmers. We believe that the focus of federal regulation should be on fish and fish habitat rather than making bizarre rulings and whatnot into standard agricultural practices on farmers. That is exactly what we are doing. We think it is the right thing to do. We think it is popular. We think it is important to our economic development. We have seen 7,700 net new jobs created. That is a good start. We remain focused on jobs and the economy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, what Conservatives would like Canadians to believe is that to protect fish habitat what they need to do is strip the protection of fish habitat out of the Fisheries Act. Canadians will not have a chance to have their say on this bill because Conservatives are ramming it through Parliament. Why are they so afraid of accountability that they used to be such a great fan of?

The Auditor General's Office has told us that over 95% of environmental assessments will now be eliminated completely. Why are Conservatives doing just about anything the oil and gas lobbyists ask for? Will they split the bill, take a deep breath and finally show a little respect for Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have had an unprecedented amount of debate on this year's budget, on economic action plan 2012, on the budget itself and the debate. After the Minister of Finance gave a speech of less than one hour, the opposition had its opportunity to begin debate. What did it do? It had one of its critics filibuster for three full days. That does not show a lot of respect for taxpayers.

Our budget, budget 2012, is focused on jobs and the economy. Today we saw the creation of 36,000 net new jobs in the manufacturing sector. That is good news for Canada's economy. That is nothing more than a good start. That is why we remain focused, like a laser, on job creation and economic growth and will continue to do so.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, people of all political stripes are condemning the budget implementation bill. Conservative provincial premiers, former Conservative ministers and even Conservative backbenchers are opposed to the bill and the Conservatives' approach.

In addition, seniors' advocacy groups are voicing their strong opposition to cuts to old age security. Will these groups be treated in the same manner as environmental protection groups?

Do the Conservatives also want to eliminate groups that represent the interests of the people who built our country?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, let us remind the opposition what is actually in the budget bill, what they claim after a few short minutes. Our finance minister delivered his speech here in the House of Commons. It was only minutes after that, obviously before the NDP members had read the budget, that they said they were going to oppose it. I would like to know if they have actually changed their minds? Are they still going to vote against extending the hiring credit for small and medium-sized businesses? Are they going to vote against funding for skills and job training? Are they going to vote against funding for infrastructure? I would like the answer to that. Most of all, why would they vote against that?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, after question period I would be more than happy to actually explain to the parliamentary secretary the difference between a budget and a budget implementation act.

Six years ago, when the Prime Minister was out on the campaign trail, he not only promised that he would not cut OAS for current retirees, he said that he would, “fully preserve the Old Age Security...and all projected future increases to these programs.” It is no wonder the Conservatives want to stop seniors from voting when they are breaking their promise to protect the OAS.

Will the Conservatives stop their attack on the OAS or are they prepared to pay the price for it in the next election?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague the Minister of State for Finance explained, our priority is job creation and economic growth for this country. That includes helping Canadians get back to work.

It also includes making sure that we have the resources to ensure that Canadians, both today and future generations, have access to an old age security system that is sustainable for future generations. We are looking after our seniors today, and those of future generations.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, a sworn affidavit filed with the court demolishes the arguments of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister concerning his election expenses.

Copies of the contract and the invoices show that 630 hours of voter identification work were carried out in the riding of Peterborough at a cost of $21,000. The Prime Minister's ethics spokesperson is now facing the stiffest penalty under the Canada Elections Act.

Is this why his government does not want a royal commission on election fraud?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to the member opposite that the member he refers to has been very clear that he followed all of the rules and that his 2008 election expenses were fully within the legal limits, fully reported and fully audited.

While this individual member has been fully transparent, we all work with him and know him to be a person of high integrity and held in high regard. Certainly, if his standard of honesty and integrity were followed by all members of the House, this House would be a better place.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the court affidavits, sworn under oath, blow to bits the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister's story about election spending. Copies of a contract and an invoice clearly show that the 630 hours' worth of get-out-the-vote calls were done for the Peterborough campaign, at a cost of $21,000.

The Prime Minister's ethics spokesperson now faces the highest possible personal penalties under the Canada Elections Act. Does all of this explain why he and his government oppose a royal commission into election fraud?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada will look into these matters, as it properly should. It operates as an arm's-length body not of the government but rather of Parliament. We will let it do its work.

I can tell members about the member for Peterborough and all of us on this side of the House. We are focused on job creation and economic growth. We are pleased with the 36,000 new manufacturing jobs created last month. That is not enough. We must remain focused on job creation and economic growth. We will continue to do so because Canadian families from coast to coast to coast want more jobs and want to be able to provide for their families.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, it has been nearly a month since the courts overturned the election results in Etobicoke Centre and the matter has been appealed to the Supreme Court. The Conservatives want to delay these hearings until the fall, while the member in limbo spends his summer enjoying the advantages of being a member of Parliament, including money for mailing privileges, staff and travel expenses.

While the Conservatives delay, democracy is in limbo. Therefore, I ask the Prime Minister this. Will he drop his attempt at delays and commit here and now to a fair fight in Etobicoke Centre?