House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was devolution.

Topics

Community Service
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Toet Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the strong and active cultural communities in Elmwood—Transcona and the important role they play in enriching our local identity.

I would like to commend the efforts of the Filipino community in Elmwood—Transcona, which, along with the broader community, has been raising funds to provide relief for the millions affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Our community is engaged and involved as individuals and groups who continue to come together to support relief efforts for those impacted by this devastating disaster.

I am also thrilled to attend the Sher-E-Punjab Sports Club event this weekend in support of the Valley Gardens Community Club. This is another prime example of people coming together to make their neighbourhood a better place to live.

St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church parish recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in Transcona. It has been an important foundation of our community and has been significant in the faith life of so many people in Transcona and has contributed to our community in many other ways.

It is my pleasure, as a representative for Elmwood—Transcona, to celebrate those who have served our community so well.

Battle of Hong Kong
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am here today because of a great Canadian. Seventy-two years ago this month, this Canadian, along with many others, fought in the Battle of Hong Kong to defend the people of the crown colony, my father being one of them. In that battle, the Japanese attacked the Royal Rifles and the Winnipeg Grenadiers in the first Canadian combat engagement of the Second World War.

Seventeen days of battle ended on Christmas Day 1941, with 290 Canadians dead, 493 wounded, and 1,600 made prisoners of war. For three and half years, they lived in appalling conditions. Hundreds died. Years later, my father moved to Winnipeg, home of the Grenadiers. Years after that, I met that great Canadian, Mr. George MacDonell, who was taken prisoner of war in that battle.

I stand here today in this Canadian House of Commons, because Mr. MacDonell stood in Hong Kong 72 years ago to defend my family. Mr. MacDonell is here today in Ottawa. I ask all my colleagues to recognize this great Canadian.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 6, we will observe the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

I was born in 1989, the year of the massacre at the École Polytechnique, and I am the same age as many of the women targeted in that tragedy. However, unfortunately, even 24 years later, we still have a very long way to go.

Whether in the form of domestic violence, physical and psychological abuse, harassment, poverty, denigration, racialization or fear, violence is still part of all of our lives, all around the world, generation after generation, because we are women.

We must never give up and accept violence as a reality for women. Each and every one of us has a duty to take real action, to stand up against and put an end to all forms of violence.

Volunteers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on International Volunteer Day to salute the incredible work done by Canadian volunteers to improve the lives of those in developing partner nations. Canada is a nation that values the contribution of volunteers at home and abroad. The government recognizes the enormous contribution Canadians make through volunteering.

As an example, through their partnership with Barrick Gold, World University Service of Canada is helping young people in Burkina Faso with skills development, ensuring secure futures and hope for a new generation.

Many of our partner organizations are gathered today in Toronto at the volunteer co-operation event. I want to thank them for their dedication and to recognize their contributions. As the minister said this morning:

International Volunteer Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the positive impact Canadian volunteers are having throughout the world.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, 24 years ago, 14 women were brutally murdered at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. They were killed simply because they were women. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of that senseless act and their families.

This tragedy has had a lasting effect on all Canadians. It opened our eyes to a dark reality, and it led the House to declare every December 6 a national day of remembrance. Clearly it is not enough just to remember. We also have to work actively for change. Over half of Canadian women will experience violence at some point in their lives.

We can make a difference. Together, we can ensure that women fleeing abuse have all the support they need. We can keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. We can demand justice for the hundreds of aboriginal women who have gone missing from our communities. We can make Canada a safe place to live. We owe it to those 14 young women.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, once again the NDP is out with its incoherent policies that have no credibility whatsoever. It is clear that its latest energy policy was written on the back of a napkin. Not only does it propose economically unsound ideas, but it completely rejects the notion of independent science-based reviews.

Yesterday the leader of the NDP confirmed that he wants the government to arbitrarily decide which projects should move forward. The NDP will stop at nothing to let ideology get in the way of science. On this side of the House, we will allow independent scientific reviews to make recommendations on proposed projects.

Governor General's Medal of Bravery
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize three of my constituents who were presented with the Governor General's Medal of Bravery today in Ottawa.

In August 2008, Francis Marshall, of Membertou, and Joey Sylvester, from Sydney, evacuated residents from a burning apartment building. Mr. Sylvester rushed his family to safety before going back to rescue his neighbour and his two children. He then returned inside for a third time to help pull a disabled woman from her apartment. Mr. Marshall also braved the heat and smoke in an attempt to extinguish the flames and survived a propane tank explosion.

In August 2009, Len MacIntyre, of Sydney Mines, rescued a woman from a burning apartment in Florence. Mr. MacIntyre ran inside and used a quilt to help shield the victim from the flames, pulling her outside to safety.

I commend these Cape Bretoners for their bravery in saving lives while putting theirs at risk. Their leadership is a great example to all Canadians.

Volunteers
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, volunteers represent the best of Canadian society. They support families. They support communities, and they contribute the equivalent of 1.1 million full-time jobs in volunteer hours each and every year. Our government is proud to support volunteerism and to encourage them to volunteer in their communities. The volunteer.ca website helps connect volunteers with volunteer opportunities in their communities. Since 2012, the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards have recognized exceptional volunteers and volunteer organizations across the country.

Today is International Volunteer Day. We would like to congratulate and thank the over 13 million Canadians who volunteer their time and support their communities each and every year.

Ethics
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, our dear Prime Minister should have written a fantasy story instead of a book on hockey. The Prime Minister's fantastical imagination would be amazing were it not used for such harmful purposes.

There was the story of Nigel Wright, the only one who knew about the scheme, right up to the day that the RCMP implicated more than a dozen people from the Prime Minister's inner circle. There was the story of the missing legal agreement between Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright, right up to the day that the RCMP proved that that was yet another fabrication. There was also the story of the independence of the Senate, right up to the day that one of the speakers of the Senate decided to “slip away”. There was the story of Mike Duffy's residency supposedly being okay, right up to the day that Mr. Duffy himself did not even know where he lived. There was the story of the innocence of Benjamin Perrin, right up until his fingerprints were found all over the police documents. Lastly, there was the story of Irving Gerstein not being involved, right up until we learned the truth about this manipulative schemer.

When will this book of the Conservatives' greatest scandals be released?

Northern Sovereignty
Statements By Members

December 5th, 2013 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of their northern identity, and our government has made unprecedented investments.

This Prime Minister's accomplishments include the Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Training Centre and the devolution and transfer of lands and resource management to the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Canadians know they can count on this Prime Minister to stand up for the north and for Canada's international claim for Arctic seabed rights, including the North Pole.

Unfortunately, the Liberal leader is as soft on Canadian sovereignty as he is on crime. Yesterday the Liberal leader refused to stand up for Canada's northern sovereignty when he said that the North Pole is not Canadian. How can he, this close to Christmas, deny Santa Claus his rightful citizenship?

It is yet another example of lack in leadership, whether it is being in favour of removing mandatory minimums on child predators or promoting reckless plans to legalize marijuana to children. Canadians do not want this Liberal leader stuffing our stockings this Christmas.

Rail Transportation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we now know that the Lac-Mégantic railway had been in urgent need of attention since 2008. In 2012, the city even wrote to the minister of transportation at the time and to the Conservative member who is also the minister responsible for the region. Despite all that, the Conservative government chose to ignore all of the warnings.

Why was that railroad allowed to continue operating despite all of the warnings?

Rail Transportation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the government has invested record amounts in rail safety. Since 2006, the number of inspections has increased by 4%. The government will continue to improve the system.

Rail Transportation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his compassion for the 47 people who died in that tragic accident, but will he at least acknowledge one thing? In 2008, there was a problem that was never resolved, and in 2012, when there was still an urgent need for action, the government gave the railroad exceptional permission to operate with one sole conductor.

Why did the government go in the opposite direction of public protection? Why did it not heed the warnings?

Rail Transportation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is an ongoing inquiry into this incident. It is clear that rules were not abided by. Of course our hearts go out to those affected by the death of these 44 people. That is why I visited the community that weekend. I also went there more recently to work with the mayor and the community on a plan for reconstruction.

Rail Transportation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, maybe the city would not have needed construction if the Conservatives had listened to the warnings and if they had the assumed the federal government's responsibilities.

The Conservatives had been warned since 2008. They were warned in 2012, in writing, by the town. What did the government do in 2012? It gave an exceptional permission to MMA to operate with one sole conductor.

Why did the government go in the opposite direction of public protection? Why did the Conservatives protect the railroad instead?