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House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regard.

Topics

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, if we were to canvass some of the strongest advocates for the types of changes that are being proposed in the legislation, there is no doubt that we would find within the ranks of the RCMP officers who recognize the value of transparency, accountability and the need for independent investigations.

However, there is some concern with the government's attitude in changing the legislation and that there could be a need for some amendments to the legislation. The member finished his speech and then moved that the question be now put. It is a continuation from where we left off in the sense that the government feels that there is no role for the House of Commons to play in terms of contributing to the debate. It raises the concern of how open the government will be in terms of amendments brought forward from the Liberal Party or suggestions that come from individuals who present at the committee stage.

Could the member assure the Liberal Party and Canadians that once the bill gets to committee that the government will be open and receptive to amendments that could come forward, whether it is from the Liberal Party or possibly others?

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, if we move this to the committee stage, that is exactly where we will get an opportunity to hear from the experts, the people with the skills, knowledge and ability to give us their input on the strengths, weaknesses and room for improvement in the bill itself. As members of that committee, we will have the opportunity to ask our own questions of those witnesses and see what comes of that from committee. We are looking very much forward to that I am sure.

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I also appreciate the fact that we all want to achieve the same goal in terms of bringing more accountability to the RCMP and I think we can work together to see that happen.

My question for my colleague is with regard to the practical ways that modernizing the way complaints are dealt with at the supervisor level would change things. Obviously there is nothing we can do about what happened in the past but what we are looking forward to is the future and how in the future, when complaints or grievances come up within the RCMP, this modernization would, in practical terms, make the process go a lot faster and, hopefully, would implement education so that we would see people working together rather than have a confrontational process, which is what we see happening right now.

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, we just need to look at any business right now. Dealing with complaints at the lowest level is the most effective location to do that. This legislation would provide the RCMP the opportunity to do that.

As I mentioned in answer to a question posed by the opposition a bit earlier, Canada is massive. We have police officers policing in remote communities with less than 200 people, right up to municipalities where there are 300-plus RCMP members, such as the Surrey detachment. Therefore, for the detachment commanders and the people working on those front lines having an opportunity to deal with any issue right away would speed up the service that we get. It would be fairer and transparent and it would get the issue dealt with rather quickly. Those things tend to take a tremendous amount of time and resources away from the front line policing that the officers need to do. Things that tend to linger on like that have great impacts on small detachments.

This would help, most specifically, some of our smaller and rural detachments, as well as the big ones, but I can see a direct benefit there to small communities.

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the hon. member across, who represents an area with very similar challenges to my own when it comes to policing and support for the RCMP.

While this legislation talks about disciplinary action, with what kinds of resources would this action take place when we know that in areas in northern Canada there are extreme shortfalls in terms of funding and in terms of resources on the ground that the RCMP have to work with? Last week in my own riding it hit the national media that people in Lac Brochet had to be chained to doors in an arena.

Is that the way we treat Canadians in the year 2012? Where is the federal government's support in terms of resources for the RCMP?

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I understand the needs of the policing situations in the north. Obviously, it is up to the justice ministers of the provinces to negotiate their resource needs with the commanding officer of that division. They highlight those needs and set them and that is generally supported by the contract that is outlined here in Parliament.

However, when we look at the advantage with this bill, a good bulk of the shortages that I know we are facing in the north have a lot to do with members being displaced because of disciplinary hearings and actions that are long ongoing, some of them for four or five years. If we could shrink those thing down, those resources that are determined for the detachment in the division could be allocated directly to where they are supposed to be and we would not have one or two members working short-staffed or short-handed because there is a disciplinary review process that has now taken a resource away from that community or detachment for two and three years as this review is being undertaken.

In terms of capital resources, the federal government is continuing to invest in the RCMP and we are making that a priority.

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, before starting my speech, I would like to say that I will share my time with the member for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant.

After some consideration I rise today to speak to Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. In my speech I will focus on the current cases of misconduct and sexual harassment within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This extremely delicate subject must be taken into account in the debate here. As a woman and as deputy public safety critic for the official opposition, I feel it is my duty to speak to this issue.

During the last parliamentary session, my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, several other members of the opposition and I asked the government to take swifter action in response to the many allegations of sexual harassment within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Minister of Public Safety promised us a bill that would address issues of discipline within the RCMP, which we have now in Bill C-42.

The NDP has long wanted to look at the RCMP, particularly the change in corporate culture that would need to take place within the organization in order to address the numerous allegations of sexual harassment. That is why we support this bill at second reading. We absolutely want to examine it more closely and especially propose the necessary amendments to make it even stronger.

Although women have won a lot of rights in Canada, there are still far too many disparities between men and women. “Working in a man's world” is an expression that is sadly used too much these days. A number of fields are unfortunately stigmatized: construction, forestry and even politics, to name just a few.

As a member of Parliament, I often have the opportunity to meet women who make a difference every day in their workplaces. I am thinking, for example, of all of the female corrections officers who work in our penitentiaries. There are three federal penitentiaries in my riding of Alfred-Pellan. We have a number of female corrections officers, and I am very proud of that fact. They themselves are very proud of their work and of their colleagues, on whom they can always count. They are involved in their union; they are mothers; they are real examples to follow, like many women who are looking to make a difference through their dedication to and involvement in their communities.

Female RCMP officers are women who dedicate themselves every day to keeping Canadians safe, and we thank them for it. However, some of them have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is deplorable, no matter the workplace. What is regrettable about the RCMP response is the punishment for the guilty parties. Take the unfortunate and notorious case of a senior RCMP officer in Alberta who was found guilty of several counts of sexual harassment. The consequences were minimal: he lost a few days' pay, was transferred to another part of the country, and kept his job. The consequences for him were minimal, but the impact on the victim is irreparable.

This does not solve the problem, far from it. First, the person who is transferred could reoffend. This reminds me of inmates who do not participate in any programs while incarcerated and who have difficulty reintegrating into society after they have served their sentence. All the experts agree that we must punish wrongdoers, but we must also ensure that they do not victimize anyone else.

Furthermore, ignoring a problem such as sexual harassment in the workplace by not punishing the offenders can have serious consequences for the victims. These women risk their lives every day to protect us and they deserve better. The lack of an internal mechanism for dealing with the misconduct of certain individuals does not improve the work environment and does not allow these women to trust a system that is supposed to protect their rights.

As a result of the allegations and what Canadians have learned about the internal operations of the RCMP, they no longer have faith in their national police force, which is huge.

This faith must be restored by changing the corporate culture within the RCMP. That is why it is so important that we have a closer look at this bill and study it carefully.

Bill C-42 simplifies the complex process that is currently in place to address problems and misconduct in the workplace, including the abuse of power, intimidation and harassment, by giving the commissioner the ultimate authority to determine the appropriate disciplinary action.

When the current RCMP commissioner, Mr. Paulson, took the job last November, he told his troops that harassment would not be tolerated in the workplace. I applaud that comment.

Currently, RCMP managers faced with having to address harassment issues have two different processes they must follow—one created under Treasury Board policy and the other under the RCMP Act. Since these processes do not always align, this can lead to confusion about rights, responsibilities and potential approaches.

Bill C-42 proposes giving the commissioner the power to establish a single comprehensive framework for investigating harassment and resolving these issues.

While Bill C-42 gives the commissioner greater powers regarding discipline and the ability to create a more effective process to resolve harassment complaints, the fact remains that the bill does nothing to change the corporate culture within the RCMP, which is crucial to addressing the allegations of systematic sexual harassment, which we in the NDP strongly condemn.

With respect to changes, we believe that profound changes are needed and we must ensure that this never happens again.

The RCMP's current system cannot be transformed with such a bill, but we would like to emphasize the fact that the bill will give the RCMP commissioner the ability to create a more effective procedure for handing complaints of sexual harassment, and this is a big step in the right direction.

Bill C-42 is missing some other important elements. The government needs to create a completely independent monitoring agency that would report directly to Parliament. Such an agency could make binding recommendations and conduct a comprehensive civilian investigation of the RCMP.

In its current form, the bill would enable the provinces to give an investigative body or a police force the mandate to investigate incidents. However, the RCMP could run the investigation itself if no other organization were able to. The official opposition strongly opposes this proposal, and, based on what I have heard from my colleagues opposite who are looking for a clearer, more independent process, they do not like it either. I therefore suggest that they put forward amendments to change this part of the bill.

First, let us go back to the beginning and talk about whether the RCMP can investigate itself. That is part of why Canadians are losing confidence in their national police force. Moreover, this way of doing things will create an extremely piecemeal system by letting provincial organizations oversee a national police force.

The balance of power will differ from one province to the next. We must absolutely take this opportunity to create a fair, clear and transparent system that will go a long way toward building the confidence of the general public and of the women who work for the RCMP, in their national police force.

A number of reports and commissions have recommended implementing structural and organizational reforms within the RCMP that go well beyond what Bill C-42 proposes. For example, Justice O'Connor's report urged Parliament to create an RCMP oversight body. David Brown's 2007 report on the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP proposed changes that would make the RCMP completely independent from government with status as a separate employer.

Bill C-42 does not go far enough for women either. Women working for the RCMP have the right to safe access to a more open and transparent working environment.

The sad thing about this bill is that the current government had to be asked about it repeatedly in the House of Commons and in committee before deciding to draft it.

The RCMP needs a clear harassment policy. I will be proud to propose amendments and support Bill C-42.

Election of the Parti QuébécoisStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois wishes to celebrate the election of a sovereignist government in Quebec led by the Parti Québécois and to congratulate Quebec's first female premier, Pauline Marois.

In previous Parti Québécois governments, Ms. Marois held the highest-profile portfolios: finance, education, health, industry, trade and social economy, as well as the position of deputy premier.

As leader of the Parti Québécois since 2007, Pauline Marois has demonstrated extraordinary resilience and staunch convictions. She has now ascended to the highest public office in Quebec.

Pauline Marois and the new Parti Québécois government can count on the Bloc Québécois to speak on behalf of the Government of Quebec here in Ottawa's Parliament. Should Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois wish to promote Quebec's sovereignty, take control of employment insurance, maintain the gun registry, take full control of environmental policy or ensure respect for our jurisdiction over securities regulation, they will find a staunch ally in the Bloc Québécois.

Congratulations to the Parti Québécois. Congratulations, Pauline Marois.

The Member for Portage—LisgarStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform you, my colleagues and my constituents that I have decided to return to my birth name, Candice Bergen. This change will take place as soon as this statement concludes. I realize that many will associate that name with a popular actress, but it is in fact the name that my parents gave me and I am extremely proud and honoured to resume using the name Bergen, a name that it has a deep history and strong ties in my riding of Portage—Lisgar.

I am so grateful for the strong support I received from my constituents during election time and between elections, and I am very honoured to be referred to as their member here in the chamber. Although my last name is changing, I can assure my constituents I will continue to serve and represent them here in Ottawa and work for their families in the riding and for their interests.

If members hear on the Hill that Candice Bergen is here, it is not Murphy Brown people will be referring to. It will be me.

Jérémy GabrielStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to tell my colleagues the rather extraordinary story of Jérémy Gabriel, a 15-year-old young man from my riding.

Jérémy Gabriel, from Charlesbourg, was born prematurely with major facial deformities caused by a rare congenital disease and was also deaf.

In 2003, he underwent surgery to implant a bone-anchored hearing aid. After the surgery, Jérémy became fascinated by sound and discovered that he could sing. He has undergone 17 surgeries in 10 years.

When he was nine years old, Jérémy sang for Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican and for Céline Dion in Las Vegas. On July 4 of this year, Jérémy Gabriel was named patient ambassador by the Shriners Hospitals for Children at the national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. He took to the stage in front of more than 10,000 delegates from around the world to perform a song and share his story.

Bravo, Jérémy.

2012 Olympic GamesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to recognize Ottawa Valley girl and Canadian Olympic athlete Melissa Bishop. Melissa Bishop represented Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the 800-metre race. She earned the right to represent Canada by becoming only the third Canadian woman to break the two-minute barrier in the two-lap race in the qualifying rounds.

While Melissa is a native of Bonnechere Valley township, from deep in the heart of the upper Ottawa Valley, she carried with her the thoughts and aspirations of all the people in the Ottawa Valley. In turn, Ottawa Valley residents embraced Melissa, supporting fundraising events, buying T-shirts and giving her a hero's welcome with a homecoming parade.

Melissa shared with us her Olympic dream to be the best by competing with the best, running toward the dream. We will see her in Rio in four years.

Rosh HashanahStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, at sundown last night Jews all over the world began their observance of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day holiday marking the Jewish new year. On Rosh Hashanah, members of the Jewish community gather to remember the blessings of the past year and to look forward to the promise of the future.

It is a time to celebrate the rich traditions of the Jewish community and to give thanks for the mutual respect and understanding that define us as Canadians.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Liberal caucus in Parliament, I wish all of those celebrating Rosh Hashanah a happy and prosperous new year.

Shana Tova.

Stonegate Community Health CentreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate Stonegate Community Health Centre on celebrating 20 years of service in Etobicoke—Lakeshore. Founded in 1992 by a group of Stonegate neighbourhood residents, Stonegate CHC is a service hub for the whole community.

Stonegate provides primary health care, including free blood pressure screening, flu vaccines and hypertension clinics; family programs, including prenatal programs, early years and nutrition counselling; and importantly, health promotion and community building, with programs like smoking cessation, staying fit for seniors, settlement services for newcomers and the wonderful Stonegate farmers market.

There are too many excellent staff and volunteers to recognize them all right now, but I wish to highlight two fine members of the Stonegate community: executive director Beverly Leaver, whose tireless leadership in the centre is appreciated by clients, staff and all community stakeholders; and Joan McKenzie, who has been with Stonegate CHC since its inception, managing human resources and finances. Joan's dedication of her time and talent is an inspiration to all of us.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week I wrote to the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, urging him to grant conscientious objector Kimberly Rivera permanent residency status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Like many of us here in Canada, Kimberly opposed the U.S. war in Iraq. Even the Prime Minister called the war an “absolute error”.

Now Kimberly faces a deportation order and the real possibility that she will be jailed in the United States and separated from her children, two of whom were born here in Canada. This is just wrong.

In this morning's Globe and Mail, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote:

During the struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa, we were sustained by the knowledge of the support we had in the international community. Ms. Rivera has my support and the support of all those who desperately want humanity to move along a path of peace.

I again call on the government to do the right thing and let this family stay in Canada and stay together.

Tire Take Back DaysStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, sometimes private individuals and business go way above and beyond when contributing to our society.

Today I congratulate and thank Woodbeck Auto Parts of Stirling, the Ontario Tire Stewardship and all the automotive recyclers who took part in this year's Tire Take Back Days.

Instead of unsightly heaps of discarded tires becoming a fire hazard, the Ontario Tire Stewardship has made its mission to make sure these tires are disposed of properly and safely.

Woodbeck Auto Parts and members of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association acted as a collection point for discarded tires during Tire Take Back Days. Canadians dropped off 139,000 tires at 72 locations across Ontario, with Woodbeck Auto Parts leading the way. As a result of this recycling, $357,960 was raised for the Sunshine Foundation children's charity.

Woodbeck Auto Parts, Ontario Tire Stewardship and members of the Ontario Auto Recyclers Association are to be commended on their dedication to the well-being of our local communities.

25th Anniversary of Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone LayerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, 25 years ago the world gathered in Montreal to address the issue of production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. With Canada at the forefront both, then and now, this meeting led to the creation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, whose 25th anniversary we marked yesterday.

Canada has been a world leader in atmospheric ozone science for more than 50 years. Twenty-five years ago we contributed key scientific information that laid the groundwork for the development of the Montreal Protocol. Since that time we have continued to play a key role in research and restoration efforts, using a strong foundation of Canadian-made, Canadian-led science, such as the Canadian-developed Brewer ozone spectrophotometer.

Much work remains, and our government is committed to taking real action toward the restoration of the ozone layer, as well as reporting on its strength and health.

That is why Environment Canada will continue to collect the information necessary to monitor the ozone in the upper atmosphere, and will continue to operate the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre as part of this important global initiative.

Front-Line Government Service WorkersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, welcome back to the chair. Unfortunately, while this is a new session, we have the same old problems created by the government.

Because of Conservative cuts to front-line service workers, we see an ever-increasing denial of help for Canadians. Call centres just are not doing the job.

Connie Walker tried for two months to help her learning-disabled brother, Daniel, attain his benefit statement and access code, only to find out that the option to speak with an operator had been removed due to the high volume of calls. Daniel does not have a computer, was hampered by a broken ankle and had had no income since June 22. The telephone was his only option.

The same situation applies to GIS. Last week alone, my office helped six seniors with GIS problems. Omar had been trying for three weeks to change his address with CIC, but could not get through to anyone.

What I would like to get through to the government is the unspeakable harm it has caused to the people it refuses to serve.

Tribute to LibertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, 73 years ago today and only 16 days after Nazi Germany declared war on Poland and invaded from the west, the Soviet Union invaded without warning from the east. We know well about the crimes the Nazis committed in the west. However, the brutality of the Soviet Union in the east was extensive, though this is less discussed in the history textbooks.

The Soviets did not recognize the Geneva conventions. They committed mass murder of military officers and civilians, deported hundreds of thousands to Siberia and imposed collectivization. In the end, the Soviets actively caused the death of millions in the area covering modern Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus that is now known as the Bloodlands.

I would like to encourage all Canadians to learn more about the crimes of communism and to support the important initiative led by the Tribute to Liberty to build a national monument to the victims of communism here in Ottawa.

Peter LougheedStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this past week our nation lost a great Canadian. Former Premier Peter Lougheed is remembered as a formidable advocate for provincial control of natural resources and for establishing a stronger place for Alberta in the federation, yet he contributed so much more on other fronts. He created the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, investing resource royalties toward health care and medical research. He established the first Alberta ministry of culture and set aside protected areas, notably Kananaskis Country. He enacted the Alberta Bill of Rights and contributed to the entrenchment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Recently, he raised concerns with the fast-paced development of the oil sands and called for greater attention to the environment.

In his own words, Peter Lougheed was a Canadian first, an Albertan second and a political partisan third. He left a lasting legacy, benefiting not only Albertans but all Canadians. We would do well to build on his legacy and his recent sage advice.

May he rest in peace.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP was busy over the summer promoting its carbon tax. Yes, the NDP and its leader want to impose a carbon tax that would kill jobs and raise the price of gas, electricity and nearly everything else.

Canadians have been clear about such legislation. Look what this issue did to the Liberal Party. While the NDP is doing whatever it can to see to it that Canadians pay even more at the pump, here on this side of the House, we will continue to focus on the economy, jobs and long-term prosperity.

Our government has been clear: we will oppose the NDP leader's proposed tax on almost everything, and we will continue to keep taxes low for families and job creators.

Peter LougheedStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians mourn the loss of the late Peter Lougheed. He lies in state today in the Alberta legislature where he served with such distinction.

However his impact was truly national. His accomplishments were many: successful resource development policies; real concern for the environment; his long-term vision of a heritage fund; investments in medicine, science, the arts and recreation; his role in repatriating the Constitution; and much more.

However, three personal characteristics make him an endearing and enduring figure: first, he was always a gentleman who earned respect by being respectful of others; second, he sought to build bridges of inclusion, not drive wedges of polarization; and third, he always called himself a proud Canadian.

Unfailingly civil and decent, Peter Lougheed made us all better by the example he lived.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jeanne, and their family.

Leader of the OppositionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, gas prices across the country are surging, yet the Leader of the Opposition has been travelling around the country to promote a tax on carbon. Hard-working Canadians across the country will suffer if the NDP brings forward a job-killing carbon tax that will increase the price of everything. Families will see the price of gas, groceries and electricity increase and become even more of a burden. The NDP leader's carbon tax scheme may have been endorsed by the president of Shell, but it is Canadians who will pay this tax, not big oil companies.

Why is the leader of the NDP advocating for another tax on Canadian families, one that it has been estimated will raise the price of gas by as much as 10¢ a litre?

Our government will continue to focus on creating jobs and economic growth across the country. We will not follow the lead of the Leader of the Opposition and burden families with reckless tax schemes.

National Hockey LeagueStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, since I arrived here in the House, I have seen my teammates opposite salivate over every labour dispute, all exited to be able to jump on the ice and impose special legislation. They have already scored a hat trick by passing three such bills.

Since interfering in labour relations has become a Conservative speciality, I hope that they will give 110% to dealing with the new lockout affecting Canada: the National Hockey League lockout.

Since the Conservatives love to rewrite collective agreements for no reason, the fact that the puck is no longer in play for millions of Canadian fans should be enough of a reason for them to get involved.

Now, let us just think about it. A special law to end the NHL lockout would make a really good chapter in the Prime Minister's mythical hockey book.

If the Conservatives have to stick their noses into labour disputes, they may as well do something useful for once and bring back our national sport, unless they are afraid of being bodychecked.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

September 17th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, today the opposition House leader changed his story. Some might say that he misled Canadians by claiming the NDP leader would not impose a carbon tax that would raise the price of everything. However, earlier this year the opposition House leader championed the idea of a carbon tax saying, “I'm more of a cap-and-trade kind of guy. I think it’s a much more accurate assessment of full cost but, again, the point of the exercise is putting a price on carbon”.

Cap and trade or cap and tax, a price on carbon is a tax on carbon. That makes it a carbon tax. Our government will continue to stand up against the NDP's plan to impose a job-killing carbon tax on Canadians that would raise the price of everything, things like gasoline, home heating fuel and groceries.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economy is still in difficulty despite the Prime Minister's boasts. The Conservatives have set a new record with a trade deficit of $50 billion. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs have vanished—high-quality, high-paying jobs. The artificially high Canadian dollar is hurting export industries. Household debt has never been so high and productivity has never been so low.

Does the Prime Minister realize that it is time to change his economic strategy?