House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cyberbullying.

Topics

The House resumed from November 28 consideration of the motion that Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-13 today, November 29.

There are various reasons why it is important that we sit here today and discuss Bill C-13. The most important reason is the respect that we all have for the fight against bullying, especially bullying directed at our youth.

No one in the House is against virtue or the idea that we must identify all the means and tools that could be used in the fight against cyberbullying.

I will be using my 20 minutes to talk about cyberbullying specifically. That is what the title of the bill makes us think it is about. However, Bill C-13 unfortunately covers more than just cyberbullying. It talks about numerous other ways and means to address a number of aspects of online crime, in addition to other things that have nothing to do with cyberbullying.

Allow me to explain. If members take the time to really read what is in Bill C-13, they will see that the section on bullying is only two pages long. This bill is more than 50 pages long, and it is clear upon reading it that it is yet another Conservative omnibus bill.

I will not hide my disappointment today at having to rise to speak once again to an omnibus bill. This is unfortunately not the first time one has been introduced in the House. We have had several omnibus bills in the past two parliaments—indeed, since this government won a majority. This is a sorry state of affairs, for many reasons.

The latest budget bills introduced by the Conservatives are examples of such omnibus legislation. We had bills comprising hundreds of pages that affected thousands of our laws totally unrelated to the budget. We had to deal with those. They were shoved down our throats. We tried to divide the bills into different parts, so they could be studied in the appropriate committees, but we did not succeed.

As an example, one of the budget bills contained a measure, introduced by the Conservatives, providing for the removal of protections for lakes and rivers in Canada.

Someone on the other side of the House will have to explain to me how removing the protections for our lakes and rivers relates to the budget. We tried to divide this section of the bill to send it to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, where it should have been studied. Unfortunately, the Conservatives refused.

Every time we have tried to introduce amendments to omnibus bills or divide them by seeking the unanimous consent of the House, the Conservatives have flatly refused.

I am extremely disappointed that Bill C-13 does not go deeper into cyberbullying, which is a sensitive issue that requires so much attention. It does not just affect young people, as we have seen in the high-profile media stories in recent years. Cyberbullying affects a large segment of the population. I will come back to this later in my speech.

It is extremely disappointing to see the Conservatives playing cheap political games in the House with legislation that should be passed unanimously. They are trying to add items and make us say yes to things that are in no way related to cyberbullying. It is incredibly disappointing to see the other side of the House engaging in petty politics.

In Bill C-13, the part on cyberbullying is a pretty close copy of what my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour introduced last June. That was a private member's bill, and everyone agreed with the principle of the bill. However, instead of examining it together and passing it quickly, the Conservatives decided to take part of what my colleague was proposing in Bill C-540 and add it to Bill C-13, along with some other elements.

Instead of concentrating on a bill on cyberbullying that was properly divided, the Conservatives opened up the floodgates and added some other things. They have made Bill C-13 into quite the concoction.

I also wanted to talk about another bill today. A few months ago, my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord moved a very interesting motion on cyberbullying. I cannot elaborate on it too much, because the motion had to do with more than just cyberbullying. However, I know my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord worked very hard on that motion. Almost all experts and public interest groups agreed that it was a very important motion. Unfortunately, the only party that voted against the motion was the Conservative Party. It is so sad that the Conservatives are refusing to discuss the private member's bill introduced by the hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, which focused solely on cyberbullying, and that they so easily dismissed the idea of debating and adopting the motion moved by my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.

Cyberbullying boggles my mind. Honestly, it is so sad. No one can claim they have never encountered bullying. It is impossible. When I was attending Horizon Jeunesse secondary school in Laval, we had pagers. Cellphones did not exist yet. I am lucky because I was never bullied in high school. I was more of a social butterfly. I had all sorts of friends. I was never directly affected by bullying at school. However, I have friends who were bullied at school. It is serious. My brother was bullied. He would often have his lunch stolen. He was embarrassed and did not want to talk about it with my parents. Today, my brother is six feet tall and as strong as an ox, but, unfortunately for him, that was not the case when he was in high school. He was very cute and very nice. Perhaps he was bullied because he was too cute and too nice.

Those were the early days of the Internet. We did not have a computer at home. We had to do our research on the computers at the library. We could not afford a computer. We did not have to deal with cyberbullying, but bullying was all around me and part of my daily life. I saw what an impact bullying could have. Unfortunately, some students who were bullied at Horizon Jeunesse committed suicide.

Bullying at school is one thing, but when we are at home, we are protected. We are in a bubble. However, cyberbullying follows us 24 hours a day. We go home and use social media. Almost everyone has an iPhone or a BlackBerry in their pockets. We have access to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We can access a host of social media very quickly. The impact is immediate and it follows us day and night. There is no break from it. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be a victim of cyberbullying when there is no getting away from it. It is very serious.

My colleague from Gatineau raised an extremely important point this week. She asked for the unanimous consent of the House to split the bill. I think this would be a way to show respect for people who are victims of bullying and cyberbullying. As far as cyberbullying is concerned, the consent is practically unanimous. As parliamentarians, we have to be respectful of the people we represent. We must split the bill. I sincerely believe that all members of the House want what is best.

The best thing to do in this case would be to split the bill, since there is unanimous consent on one part of the bill and because this is an omnibus bill with several parts that have nothing to do with each other. Let us focus on cyberbullying and fix that problem. Let us make sure that the authorities have the tools they need to address this problem. We can then come back to the rest of the bill the government has handed us—a rehash of the former Bill C-30—which addresses the completely different topic of privacy.

Let us focus on the two pages on cyberbullying out of the 50-some pages in Bill C-13. Let us pass these measures so that the authorities can make use of them as quickly as possible. That is how we can combat cyberbullying together.

Before I talk about privacy in more detail, I want to say that Laval does a lot of good things and I like to brag about them. A Laval organization called Volteface has found a unique way to address bullying and especially cyberbullying in Quebec. I cannot speak for the other provinces, regions or territories in Canada, but this is the only program of its kind in Quebec. Volteface is an alternative justice organization that finds ways to help build harmonious relationships by offering preventive activities and alternative conflict resolution mechanisms. It works with teenagers, victims, the general public, parents, schools and the community.

Volteface created an innovative tool as part of its “Ultimatum < Échap > LA CYBER INTIMIDATION” project. The organization is actually based in Shawinigan, but it operates in Laval. It has developed a partnership and focuses on high schools. The guide is intended for high school students, their parents and school staff. It offers information on how to prevent cyberbullying and talks about what kind of action is appropriate. This project focuses especially on youth and has been operating in Laval since Volteface created it. It is a very worthwhile program.

They are targeting young people because a number of studies indicate that, although people of all ages can be affected by cyberbullying, youth 12 to 14 are at greater risk. My daughter is seven months old, and I am already worried about the tween years. I do not know what social media will be like then, but I say to myself every day that time is flying by, and it seems as though she will be 12 or 14 so soon. The research also shows that girls are at greater risk of cyberbullying than boys, as proven by some studies. I can name them: there was Sengupta and Chaudhuri in 2011 and Tokunaga in 2010. Unlike traditional bullying, boys are more likely than girls to be involved in acts of bullying. We have the facts. This is extremely important.

I applaud a Quebec organization that is finding tools to fight cyberbullying and that is trying to engage groups most at risk of being bullied or bullying. We must educate both sides, those who are bullied and those who bully. It is extremely important.

With respect to the protection of privacy, which we have to talk about, this bill deals almost exclusively with that issue. Many experts believe that Bill C-30 is being brought back to Parliament disguised as Bill C-13. I will quickly talk about that.

Bill C-30 contained measures that were considered extremely serious infringements of privacy.

I remember that the public safety minister at the time, Vic Toews, who is no longer in the House, said that if we did not side with him, then we were siding with pedophiles. That was absolutely ridiculous because Bill C-30 was another omnibus bill. Come on. At some point, we must call a spade a spade. We are therefore concerned about the protection of privacy.

Oddly enough, the Privacy Commissioner was not consulted on any of the privacy-related measures contained in Bill C-13. There was no consultation. Moreover, the commissioner is saying that she is very concerned about the measures in Bill C-13.

The commissioner is most concerned about the new powers that will make it possible to obtain information about people's private lives and the high number of government employees who will have access to that information. This is a direct attack on privacy. However, I think we all agree that privacy is a fundamental right.

I would also like to take some time to speak about OpenMedia.ca, a digital media lobby, which:

...welcomed the measures on cyberbullying but expressed concern that the new legislation makes it easier for the government to spy on the activities of law-abiding Canadians. After reviewing the bill, OpenMedia.ca indicated that the bill contains only 2.5 pages about cyberbullying and 65 pages about online spying.

It is unbelievable, particularly since, yesterday, extremely serious allegations were made in the House against the Canadian government. Let me explain.

Yesterday, we learned that, while on Canadian soil, the Americans allegedly spied on all the heads of state who attended the G20 summit in Toronto, with the consent of the Prime Minister and this Conservative government. The Conservatives were therefore aware that this espionage was taking place and they approved of it. However, now they are saying that these are allegations and that they were not aware that this was happening.

Espionage is already being carried out with the Conservative government's approval, and now this bill will give the government even more ways to spy on law-abiding Canadians.

I know that many of my colleagues opposite really like to say that we have to respect Canadians' privacy, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. The right to privacy is a fundamental right.

Why are these measures reappearing in Bill C-13? Why is the government looking to put them back in when every group said that they were a terrible part of Bill C-30?

We also spoke about Bill C-13 yesterday. The Conservatives told us that they deleted the worst parts of Bill C-30 and put the least objectionable parts into Bill C-13. It is frightening to hear such things.

These measures are yet another attack on peoples' privacy. What has the government done? As usual, no one was consulted. The worst part is that the Privacy Commissioner is raising some extremely important points and some were already raised in relation to Bill C-30. The Conservatives wanted to stop talking about it. They said that it was over, that things had gone too far. However, those measures are resurfacing in Bill C-13. I am extremely disappointed.

I do not have much time left, so I will wrap up.

I am disappointed that the government did not decide to split this bill in two and focus specifically on cyberbullying. If the government insists on bringing back measures from Bill C-30, it should create another bill that does not address cyberbullying. Then we would have two separate bills.

The government has come up with another omnibus bill. This demonstrates a lack of respect for victims of cyberbullying.

I believe that our work as parliamentarians is extremely important. The committee study must be non-partisan. I look forward to seeing what will happen when this bill is studied in committee, but I am not overly confident.

I want the government to take the time to think about all those who have been affected by cyberbullying, reverse its decision and split this bill in two.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I know it is rather unusual for me to ask a question when it comes to anything regarding the Internet and computers because I do not use them. However, many of my colleagues and friends and my two daughters use them on a regular basis as well, and there is no question that cyberbullying is a very serious issue.

I would like to ask a question of my colleague from the NDP, who is a long-term future prospect of the New Democratic Party and should be a long-term MP in the House of Commons with the great speech that she has just given. Now, as a new mom, having a beautiful daughter herself, what type of conversations does she anticipate that she and her partner will have with her daughter when she starts using the computer for a variety of things? What types of conversations should parents and legal guardians be having with their children in regard to this very serious discussion we are having today?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore for his excellent question.

When I was a student at the Horizon Jeunesse high school, in Laval, my family had no computer and no cell phone. Today, 15 years later, everyone has a pocket computer, except for my colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore, who does not carry one. I am sure, however, that his daughters, his family and his colleagues all have pocket computers.

Things change very rapidly. Twenty years ago, we had no computers or smart phones. They did not exist. Movies from that era show long telephones that practically had parabolic antennae. Things change very rapidly. What will it be like when my daughter is 12 or 14 and most likely to fall victim to cyberbullying? I have no idea, and that scares me.

I fear that we are not addressing the real problem. My colleague raises a very important point. It is the duty of parents and guardians to raise children, a very important task. I have the same responsibility towards my daughter. We have a duty to teach our children how to use the Internet properly, to avoid any unintentional bullying. Indeed, some of these events start by accident and quickly snowball.

Photos and messages go back and forth at the speed of light. It is mind-blowing. People do not always realize how their online behaviour can impact others. They think everyone will just forget what they have done, but some actions can really hurt others. We have seen serious cases, including in Nova Scotia, where Rehtaeh Parsons took her own life because of cyberbullying, and in British Columbia, where Amanda Todd's story received extensive media coverage.

These are serious events. Young people end up killing themselves because of cyberbullying. As parliamentarians, we have a duty to provide the authorities with the tools they need to take action.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member on her speech.

She mentioned the fact that this is another one of those omnibus bills that, in some ways, ends up drowning out the central issue, in this case cyberbullying, by including a number of other measures the Conservatives want to bring forward. She underscored the need to address the issue head on and to enact this cyberbullying bill as swiftly as possible.

I would like to know her thoughts on the link she made between the bill and the motion introduced by our colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord to establish a national anti-bullying plan.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Saint-Lambert for her excellent question, which covered several issues. It is important to go back and discuss those points.

First, the bill should focus primarily on the fight against bullying. This is in the title of the bill, but only two out of over fifty pages deal with this issue. Obviously, bullying is not being taken seriously.

My colleague talked about how the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord asked that we develop a national anti-bullying plan including not only cyberbullying, but also any type of bullying targeting our young people.

In addition, young people are not the only victims of bullying. The groups most at risk of being bullied or bullying someone are women, young women and teenagers. We must therefore focus not only on young people, but also on all victims of bullying.

It is shameful that the members on the other side of the House did not support this motion and that they again introduced an omnibus bill that contains only two pages dedicated to cyberbullying. That does not even represent 10% of the bill, although cyberbullying is part of its title.

It is frightening that the Conservatives are seeking to pass such things. As my colleague from Saint-Lambert knows, this is not the first time they have done this. Indeed, this is not the first time they have introduced a bill and practically forced us to vote for it. If we do not do so, they will say that we are refusing to fight cyberbullying. They often say that we voted against such and such a measure. However, these are small-scale measures included in gigantic omnibus bills with hundreds of pages. We cannot agree to everything they contain.

Since we seek to properly represent Canadians, we have asked that these bills be divided and studied in committee, and that amendments be proposed. We do everything in our power to ensure that these bills make sense, but the Conservatives reject everything. For example, we have previously introduced amendments to correct the punctuation of a bill, specifically commas and periods, but the Conservatives rejected our amendments. There are many more stories like these. It is difficult to keep our faith in government, to have hope and remain optimistic, when all our efforts are rejected. We were elected to make the best possible legislation.

Like my colleague from Saint-Lambert, I am extremely disappointed with how the Conservatives are handling the cyberbullying problem.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

I thank my colleague for her excellent speech, Mr. Speaker.

There are several points I would like her to expand on. I am the father of three preteens. Understandably, cyberbullying is of great concern to me. Like all kids their age, my children are very comfortable with technology. Unlike us at their age, kids today can be bullied even in their bedrooms. They have computers and access to the Internet. They can therefore be bullied at home as well as in school.

It is of the utmost importance that we take measures to address cyberbullying. Like my colleague said, not many provisions in the bill actually deal with cyberbullying. When the government introduced Bill C-13, it said it wanted to address the issue of cyberbullying. However, few of the bill's provisions actually do so.

I would like my colleague to comment on the attitude of the government—I am really trying to use parliamentary language here—that often puts on a dog and pony show about bills that, ultimately, are pretty hollow.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant for his question.

As the father of three preteens, he is undoubtedly very concerned about the bullying that many children face on the Internet and in school. It must be very worrisome for parents to watch as their children get to that age. It is no secret that adolescence is a rough time for everyone. It is a difficult stage in life, yet it is perfectly natural. That is why I cannot imagine what it must be like to be the victim of bullying.

Suspension of SittingProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

We will suspend to the call of the Chair.

(The sitting of the House was suspended at 10:34 a.m.)

(The House resumed at 11:12 a.m.)

Sitting ResumedProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

We will move on to statements by members.

Taite Boomer Memorial Brain Tumour FoundationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an incredible young man from my constituency, who was taken far too soon, and the legacy that lives on in his name.

On September 2, 2012, Taite Boomer passed away when he was only 20 years old, after a short but courageous battle with a very aggressive and rare form of brain tumour. Taite was a smart and caring individual who is deeply missed by his family and friends. After his passing, his family established the Taite Boomer Memorial Brain Tumour Foundation.

It is estimated that 55,000 Canadians are living with over 120 different types of brain tumours, making effective treatment very complicated. The foundation raises funds for awareness of brain tumours in honour and memory of Taite. In its first year, the foundation succeeded in raising enough money to fund a two-year brain tumour research studentship. It is their sincere hope that the funds raised will lead one day to a cure for such a debilitating condition.

I ask all parliamentarians to commend Taite's family for increasing awareness about brain tumours in response to his tragic passing.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, January 31 of next year will be very sad day for veterans and their families from across this country. That is the day the government announced for the closure of all eight district affairs offices for veterans and their families across the country.

However, the government has a plan, and I love this. It will take one person from each office and will put them in a Service Canada office. In Sydney, Cape Breton, for example, which Mr. Ron Clarke pointed out, an honoured veteran from Cape Breton, what took 13 officers to do the job will now be done by one person in a Service Canada office.

That is simply unconscionable. We ask the government to reverse these hazardous cuts and to reopen those offices to ensure that all our veterans and their families, and RCMP members and their families, get the one-on-one service they so rightfully deserve.

Robbie's RainbowStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Conservative Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize Robbie's Rainbow, a charity founded by a brave and courageous 11-year-old boy living with Crohn's disease.

After witnessing another child suffering from this terrible disease, Robbie Murray, of Oakville, founded a charity dedicated to raising money to support children with Crohn's disease and their families, when he was just eight years old. In two short years, Robbie's Rainbow has raised nearly $30,000 and has helped over 60 families live stronger and healthier lives. Robbie's Rainbow is an example of what can be done when people care. They have been raising money through hockey tournaments and by reaching out to our community.

Robbie's generosity and inspiring story should give us all pause to reflect on the important role and tremendous value charitable organizations play across the country. During this holiday season, I encourage all members to generously support and recognize local charities like Robbie's Rainbow in our communities.

Montreal Council of WomenStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, this evening, the Montreal Council of Women will celebrate its 120th anniversary. Since 1893, the council has brought together organizations and individuals from the Montreal region to improve the quality of life of women, their families,and communities.

The Montreal Council of Women has 30,000 members from diverse backgrounds who work together in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.

In the last few months alone the council has advocated for improved public transit, raised awareness about bullying in schools, and honoured the important contributions of women to the field of journalism, while as an affiliate of the International Council of Women, it has continued to concern itself with the plight of women worldwide.

As a proud member of the Liberal women's caucus, I congratulate the Montreal Council of Women on 120 years of activism, advocacy, and good works that have benefited all Montrealers, and I wish them every success for the next 120 years.

Teaching ExcellenceStatements By Members

November 29th, 2013 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Mrs. Colleen Yoshida of Assumption junior high in Cold Lake, Alberta for receiving a certificate of achievement from the Prime Minister. It is no surprise that a teacher from northeast Alberta would receive such high praise, as we have so many dedicated educators in the Lakeland region. Whether it be a younger teacher in Ashmont, such as Jeninne Poirier, who thrives on learning and teaching new methods; the dedication and experience of Corey deMoissac, at St. Paul Regional; or the work ethic and skill of Ryan Morey, at the new Mennonite school in Two Hills.

The Lakeland is truly blessed with talented educators who care. On behalf of our community, I would like to thank each and every one of them. The extra hours they put in truly make a difference. The development and future success of our children is truly their legacy.

Canada Labour CodeStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Independent

Brent Rathgeber Independent Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate when it takes a tragic event to bring attention to a deficiency in legislation or public policy.

On November 1, 2011, Andy Ferguson was killed in a head-on collision while returning home following two consecutive 16-hour workdays. Andy was completing a broadcast diploma at NAIT, and as part of that program was completing an unpaid internship at Astral Media. In addition, Astral radio paid Andy to do location spots, contest promotions and various other assignments.

It was the accumulation of the paid and unpaid hours at the radio station that led to his fatigued condition, and ultimately this tragic accident.

When Labour Canada did its investigation, it rightly concluded that his paid hours of work were within the allowable limits and it had no authority to investigate the unpaid hours because Andy was a post-secondary student and therefore that matter fell under provincial jurisdiction.

This tragedy highlights the regulatory gap that exists with respect to unpaid interns and the need to amend the Canada Labour Code to account for the combined hours, paid and unpaid, to protect these vulnerable and young workers.

I ask the federal government to act.

Maryse DrouinStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Maryse Drouin, the director general of the Corporation de développement communautaire de Longueuil, the CDC.

After more than 20 years of doing community-based work, including 12 years at the head of the CDC, Maryse is retiring today. In Longueuil, her hard work battling glaring problems associated with poverty, social exclusion and inequality will continue to serve as an example of dedication and conviction for the team at the CDC, everyone in the community, and me and my team.

Without a community network, our society would suffer. It is people like Maryse Drouin who have the vision and perseverance to campaign and fight for social justice in order to ensure that our community is stronger and the less fortunate have a decent life.

See you soon, Maryse. Now you can take some time for yourself. I wish you a happy retirement and, on behalf of everyone in Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, thank you.

Canadian Constitution FoundationStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on several previous occasions I have reported to the House regarding a website administered by the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which I have been helping to build.

The website, PrimaryDocuments.ca, is intended to be a fully searchable repository of all primary documents relating to the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982.

Today I can report that this repository includes 277,000 PDF images of pages from 2,162 distinct primary historical documents. A team of 11 full-time and part-time individuals are presently working on the project.

Because I coordinate these efforts out of my office, there is reason to be concerned that if care were not taken that parliamentary funds might be expended on what is not a parliamentary project. That is why I have been in regular contact with the Speaker and his staff to ensure that no government funds are used on this project.

All of us must take care to be good stewards of the public funds.

I am grateful for the co-operation that I have had from the House staff in this matter.

Collateral Damage ProjectStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge and thank a great Canadian who is visiting Ottawa today, Scott Chisholm.

Scott is the founder of the Collateral Damage Project, training the front line to deal with suicidal behaviours.

I have often said in this House that preventing suicide requires an entire community. I am proud of the work that Scott has done in training teachers, nurses, and members of first nations to recognize and treat suicidal ideation.

While society still struggles to talk about suicide and mental health, Scott is one of thousands of Canadian heroes struggling to protect the most vulnerable.

One of the hidden costs of suicide is the damage to survivors. Their pain is often beyond their ability to express; they suffer in silence. The Collateral Damage Project shatters that barrier with positive stories of how those who have struggled with the loss of loved ones to suicide have channelled their pain into something positive.

Canadians struggling with suicidal thoughts or coping with its aftermath should visit the Collateral Damage Project, at www.leftbehindbysuicide.org.

Do not lose hope.

Carolanne LeblancStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take a moment to congratulate Carolanne Leblanc, a woman who has been working very hard to set up a multi-service shelter in Mirabel.

The centre that she hopes to set up would support homeless people and other disadvantaged individuals, providing them with food, shelter and a place to wash up. This would be the first such place in Mirabel, which is larger in area than the city of Montreal.

We need to address all aspects of homelessness. Although homelessness and poverty are less obvious outside large urban centres, the needs are just as pressing in rural areas.

It is time to recognize those needs and support the organizations and stakeholders that are working so hard to provide front-line services.

I wish to thank Carolanne for her initiative and her efforts to get this centre off the ground. She has my admiration and full support.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about how proud I am, as a Quebecker, to have a Minister of Finance who will be able to balance Canada's budget. That is what it means for a government to act responsibly and be fair to future generations.

Today, Statistics Canada reported that the Canadian economy grew for the ninth consecutive quarter, another sign that the Canadian economy is on the right track.

Although we are not immune to struggles elsewhere in the world, we can count on our Conservative government to take us in the right direction and stay focused on the priorities of Canadian families.

World AIDS DayStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to recognize World AIDS Day, which will be held on Saturday, December 1. It is a day to take stock of a serious situation in Canada.

The number of people in Canada living with this virus continues to grow. More than 71,000 people are affected. The spread of HIV knows no socio-economic or geographic boundaries. HIV has a serious impact on homosexuals, heterosexuals, aboriginal peoples, rich, poor, women, men, young and old. The fact remains that those affected by HIV suffer a great deal of stigma and prejudice.

World AIDS Day is also an opportunity to learn about Canadian initiatives to raise awareness about AIDS and fight this disease. Organizations such as the Canadian AIDS Society are doing a lot for our society. The decline in the number of new infections in Canada attests to the education and prevention efforts made by these organizations.

This world day also gives us an opportunity to remember those who have died as a result of AIDS and reminds us that the fight is not over and that many people are working hard to stamp it out.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Veterans Transition Advisory Council met in Toronto. I would like to thank the members of the council for their commitment and dedication to assisting veterans to connect with organizations that can benefit from their skills. Our government understands the importance and the challenges that veterans face in making successful transitions from military to civilian life. The Veterans Transition Advisory Council provides an important opportunity to work together with the private sector and corporate Canada so that we may support veterans and their families through this important phase in their lives.

We will continue to reach out and collaborate with veterans and stakeholders who share our goals of helping veterans transition to find meaningful secondary careers following their service.

Luc BaronetteStatements By Members

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, day in and day out, members of Parliament benefit from the hard work of many people who work for the House of Commons and the Senate. Constable Luc Baronette was one such person.

Constable Baronette had worked on Parliament Hill since 2001, both in the security service and as a fire prevention officer. He was a well-known and well-liked individual. He was also known for his humour, his laughter and for his loyalty to friends and family.

This week, Constable Baronette passed away, succumbing to brain cancer at the very young age of 33. We mourn the loss of this very young man with a full life still ahead of him.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and my leader, I wish to extend our sympathies to all those who knew him and worked with him on Parliament Hill. In particular, we extend our thoughts and prayers to his wife Nicole, and Luc's young daughters, Adèle, age four, and Danika, who is just two years old. May they find comfort and peace in the difficult days and months ahead.