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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was force.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will have the singing of the national anthem led today by the hon. member for Saint John.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Sault Ste. Marie's Centennial AnniversaryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2012 marks Sault Ste. Marie's centennial anniversary. In our 100 years of history, the city has grown, prospered and expanded. Algoma Steel Corporation was created, the Sault Star began a daily publication and the Marconi Society was established. The list of community progress is endless and continues to this day.

To commemorate the year, city council established the Celebrate 100 team to coordinate community celebrations that welcomed home notable Saultites. Among them were the right hon. Governor General of Canada and his wife, their Excellencies David and Sharon Johnston. Also returning home was the honorary ambassador of Celebrate 100, Dr. Roberta Bondar, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her space journey aboard Discovery as the world's first woman in space.

On this memorable occasion, I would like to commend the mayor, Ms. Debbie Amaroso, city council and the organizing committee for making Celebrate 100 such a huge success.

Here is to the next 100 years.

Layoffs at PaccarStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding, there have been some layoffs at the Paccar plant—200 layoffs, to be precise. That means 200 more unemployed workers will have to wait between 35 and 45 days to receive their employment insurance cheque.

Paccar is the last heavy-duty truck plant in Canada, and yet it has never been awarded a federal government contract. The Paccar workers who have been laid off were counting on a responsible government that could have allowed them to keep working. Instead, they must negotiate with a government that refuses to listen to them.

Since the Conservatives came to power, Canada has lost 500,000 well-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector, 500,000 ways to build prosperity, 500,000 ways to build a better Canada. We in the NDP want to build this country.

Natural ResourcesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader dismisses the role that the natural resource sector plays in the Canadian economy. He claims that the strength of Canada's natural resources sector has been at the expense of manufacturing.

The economy of my riding is based on natural resource development, including agriculture, forestry, mining, energy and commercial fishing. As our natural resource sector expands to meet global demand, the growth will be reflected in the manufacturing sector. Indeed, in my own riding, I have a number of small manufacturing enterprises that serve the mining and energy sector.

We are seeing prosperity spread across Canada as a result of the demand for our natural resources. Recently, Statistics Canada reported that Canada's industry is operating at 81% of its capacity, 11% higher than the low point of the global economic downturn.

The NDP would stop the spread of this prosperity with its carbon tax schemes. What is more deplorable are the attempts by the NDP leader to pit region against region. We must grow our economy and ensure both a strong natural resources sector and a strong manufacturing sector. The two go hand in hand.

Hants County ExhibitionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the organizers of the Hants County Exhibition, which continues this weekend in Windsor, Nova Scotia. The exhibition was first held in 1765. It is the oldest agricultural fair in North America. It is operated by the Windsor Agricultural Society.

I want to commend the president, Andrew Woolaver, and its entire board of directors, as well as David Coombes, the manager, for their tireless efforts.

Visitors to the Hants Country Exhibition can enjoy crafts, horticulture, horse shows, ox pulls, beef and dairy cattle displays, and competitions.

The exhibition is a great celebration also of the 4H movement. As someone who grew up in 4H, I know first-hand the important role that 4H plays in developing leadership for young people in rural Canada.

The exhibition will celebrate its 250th anniversary in three short years. I want to invite everybody to Windsor, Nova Scotia to visit the Hants County Exhibition. We welcome everyone to join us as we celebrate the important work of our farmers and the extraordinary success of this premier agricultural event in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the birthplace of hockey.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my utter contempt and complete disbelief of recent developments in the case of Azerbaijani military officer, Ramil Safarov.

On August 31, Safarov was transferred from Hungary to Azerbaijan to ostensibly serve out a life prison sentence for the brutal murder of an Armenian military officer in 2004. Upon his return, he was pardoned and released. These developments are a real concern to Canada, and in particular to Canadians of Armenian decent who want peace in their homeland. Murder should be condemned not rewarded.

Canada continues to support the ongoing peace process and we will continue to promote regional co-operation and reconciliation. We encourage all parties to take the necessary measures to increase trust and constructively contribute to the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Riding of Edmonton--StrathconaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this year marks 100 years since the former municipality of Strathcona amalgamated with Edmonton to form one great city.

In 1912, one of the last acts by the Strathcona council was to build a public library. Recently, beautifully restored and expanded, the library continues to serve our community.

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers with the Old Strathcona Foundation, the entire Old Strathcona historic area is a popular destination for theatre, music, shopping and socializing.

Today I wish to recognize and congratulate the efforts of the foundation, the Old Strathcona Business Association and the Strathcona Community League for their co-operative efforts to preserving and reviving the area. They are hosting a flurry of events celebrating the centennial.

Old Strathcona neighbour, the University of Alberta, along with others, have partnered with local businesses and organizations to find ways to make these treasured historic buildings more energy efficient, a laudable project for the centenary.

Old Strathcona is a truly special community and one I am proud to represent.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday night, I returned from a multi-party trade and Commonwealth delegation to southern India and Sri Lanka.

In India, we met political and business leaders in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.

In the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in Sri Lanka, I lead a workshop on conflict resolution and peace building. There I emphasized that while parliamentarians have a duty to represent their constituents, they also need to work constructively with other parties.

In that spirit, my private member's bill, Bill C-425, is soon up for second reading. My goals in this legislation are to promote integration, better recognize permanent residents who have served Canada, honour our Canadian troops and underscore the value of Canadian citizenship.

With these worthy goals, I humbly request and anticipate that my colleagues from all sides of the House will support this legislation.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee MedalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the next two weekends, I will have the great privilege of hosting ceremonies to honour 30 constituents of Vegreville—Wainwright by awarding them with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. This commemorative medal is a way for Canadians to honour Her Majesty as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne as Queen of Canada and to recognize a select group of hard-working Canadians who have made and continue to make extraordinary contributions to our communities.

It is a difficult job indeed to narrow 140 extremely worthy nominations down to just 30 recipients. These are all people who have volunteered a lifetime of dedication and hard work to improving their communities and the lives of their families, neighbours, friends and often complete strangers. These outstanding citizens are truly the foundation upon which our remarkable country Canada has been built community by community.

I am thankful to them for a job well done.

2012 Olympic and Paralympic GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to acknowledge the performance of our Canadian athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London this summer.

As citizens of this great country, we should be proud of what our athletes accomplished at these games. Our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, with their courage and determination, are an inspiration for all Canadians.

During these games, many of our athletes had the pleasure of reaching the podium; others just missed medals by mere seconds or millimetres. But they all inspired us with performances worthy of the best athletes in the world.

We can all be proud as Canadians of the performance of our athletes. To see women and men from every part of this great land performing under the Canadian flag makes us all proud.

I thank all who, with courage and determination and through the core values of excellence, respect and teamwork, showed the world what Canada is all about.

On behalf of all of my colleagues on this side of the House, I congratulate them and thank them for those great and memorable sporting moments. They gave their everything and Canadians are proud of them.

You gave it your all and Canadians are proud of you.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, over a month ago, when this House was not sitting, a madman walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and opened fire on innocent Sikh men, women and children killing six people and seriously wounding a police officer.

The Government of Canada issued a statement of condolence when this tragedy occurred. On the day of the shooting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted:

Canada condemns this senseless act of violence.

On behalf of all Canadians, I offer [our sincere] condolences to the family and friends of [those killed] and wish [a full] recovery [to the injured].

I and my constituents join the Minister of Foreign Affairs in condemning these murders. We pray for the congregation in Wisconsin and for all those who are victims of violence because of their faith.

May such attacks never happen anywhere again.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week, members of Parliament will have a third honour of debate on Motion No. 312, the Conservative government's veiled attempt to reopen the abortion debate in Canada.

We, the NDP, call on all members of the House, Conservative and Liberal, to vote with us, stand up for women's rights and vote against Motion No. 312.

Thousands of Canadians, women and men, are calling on their members of Parliament to stand up for women's rights. Many will be out in their communities sending this message this Friday.

Women's rights are human rights, and it is not just a catchy slogan. It follows from Supreme Court of Canada decisions and international human rights law. Around the world, countries are surpassing Canada in ensuring that women's fundamental reproductive rights are protected.

What is the government doing? It is reopening the debate through the back door. That is why so many young women, like myself, and women of all generations are proud to stand with the only party that stands up for women in Canada, the NDP. We will not let the government turn the clock back on women's rights.

Public TransitStatements By Members

September 19th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes public transit as a key part of our communities. Since 2006, our government has invested close to $5 billion in public transit, more than any other previous government.

We recognize that municipalities are best suited to make their own transit infrastructure decisions. Our government's $33 billion building Canada fund is providing historic investments in support of several transit projects.

Additionally, our government has passed legislation that makes the gas tax fund a $2 billion annual permanent transfer to provinces and cities. This allows municipalities to continue to count on stable funding for their transit needs.

Tonight the House will vote on Bill C-305, An Act to establish a National Public Transit Strategy. Unfortunately, this strategy would fail to assist municipalities in delivering tangible results for the transit infrastructure priorities. On the other hand, our government continues to remain a strong, stable funding partner for our municipalities, and they can count on us to realize their transit goals.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal protocol to protect the ozone layer, in which Canada played a leading role in acting to eliminate the causes of ozone depletion.

After a new two million square kilometre hole was discovered in the ozone layer over the Canadian Arctic in 2011, the government negligently announced cuts to ozone science. Environment Canada's ozone science group was dissolved and its research scientists have largely been assigned to other duties. Moreover, two weather stations have stopped reporting ozonesonde data, and the fate of both Brewer and ozonesonde measurement networks remain up in the air.

Instead of addressing these deplorable cuts, the Minister of the Environment stood in his place yesterday and questioned the credibility of international scientists. Why is the minister turning the lights out on science and why did he kill Environment Canada's world renowned ozone science group?

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP will not back down on his job-killing carbon tax scheme, which will raise the price on everything, including gas, groceries and electricity.

One would think that if the NDP members were confident enough to put this in their policy platform, a $21 billion revenue grab, they would be able to stand and defend it in the House of Commons.

Our government will continue to tell Canadians the truth: the NDP has a plan to put a tax on carbon.

We invite the NDP to finally start putting the interests of hard-working Canadians ahead of special interest groups and work with our government to deliver on the things that are critical, jobs and economic growth. They do not want to see higher taxes on their groceries, gas or electricity. Frankly, they do not want to see an increase of any type of taxes.

Gasoline PricesStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives care more about making up a tax on the opposition than acting on the priorities of Canadians: our shaky economy, massive job losses and rising costs.

Let us talk about those rising gas prices. Under the Conservatives, the price of gas at the pump has skyrocketed a whopping 36%. Record prices of $1.53 per litre have been spotted, a fact ignored by the Conservatives.

After the last election, the President of the Treasury Board said, “Nobody can explain to me how they come about their prices”. He promised to get to the bottom of it, and it is another broken promise.

Many Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque and skyrocketing gas prices hit them hard. Canadians deserve better.

Perhaps the next Conservative speaker will throw away his anti-NDP rant and instead tell Canadians exactly what the government is planning to do about rising gas prices.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been quite clear that the leader of the NDP has made a carbon tax the cornerstone of an NDP platform should the party ever form government in our country. What a shame it would be for hard-working families to see an increase in gas prices, an increase in groceries and an increase in electricity prices.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister what his government was doing to help the unemployed. The Prime Minister's answer was to bring in more temporary foreign workers.

Could the Prime Minister tell us exactly how bringing in more temporary foreign workers will help unemployed Canadians find jobs?

Can the Prime Minister tell us exactly how bringing in more temporary foreign workers will help unemployed Canadians find jobs?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our approach has been to help the unemployed by creating jobs. In fact, notwithstanding a very fragile global economy, Canada has actually been leading the developed economies with the strongest job-creation record: 770,000 net new jobs. That is 770,000 people who did not have a job, who have a job since the economic downturn, thanks to the policies of our Minister of Finance, our Prime Minister and this Conservative government, focused on job creation, economic growth, not job-killing carbon taxes proposed by the NDP.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there are still over 300,000 more people unemployed today than before the 2008 recession. That is the fact.

How will bringing in more temporary foreign workers help the unemployed in Canada? We wanted to help Canadians who are unemployed. The government is obviously helping the unemployed in another country.

The Conservatives have changed the rules to make it legal to pay temporary foreign workers up to 15% less than Canadian workers doing the same job. Is that their message to the unemployed, “Work for less or we will bring in someone to replace you?”

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, our policies aim to create more jobs for Canadians. That is why we have brought in changes to our immigration policy that will actually put a preference on giving jobs to Canadians to see that Canadians get those jobs first. We want to see that happen.

Those are changes New Democrats oppose because they do not support that kind of measure to help Canadian job creation in the same way they do not support our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. That is why they have proposed an over $20 billion carbon tax that would devastate our Canadian economy, hurt Canadian families in the pocketbook where it matters and bring the Canadian economy to its knees. We cannot afford those kinds of reckless NDP policies.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. Consider the Conservative plan to cut employment insurance. From now on Canadians will have to choose: take a 30% permanent pay cut or be kicked off EI. That means a legal secretary in Calgary, making a little over $37,000 a year, will be forced to take any job that comes along paying at least $12.95 an hour. That is what a 30% pay cut translates to in the real world. Is that the Conservative plan for helping the unemployed?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government's policies are very simple. We believe Canadians prefer to have a job and do not prefer to be on employment insurance. I know the NDP thinks it is better to create incentives for people to be unemployed. We believe it is better to create incentives and opportunity for people to work. That is exactly what our policies do.

The problem is he will not address what he will do to kill jobs in Canada. He pretends it is not there, but it is here in black and white. It is called the “New Democratic Platform 2011” and it says a total expenditure—sorry, “Green Job Creation”—sorry, “Cap and Trade Revenues By Year”, $21.5 billion—

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I will ask hon. members to hold off on their applause until the minister is finished answering the question.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.