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House of Commons Hansard #212 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizenship.

Topics

Government SpendingStatements by Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the very distinct privilege of awarding the Diamond Jubilee Medal to Michel Fecteau, the founder of SOS Richelieu, and to the mayors of five municipalities affected by the historic floods of the Richelieu River.

Ironically, at the same time, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence was saying, in a CBC broadcast:

We have the power to recoup costs, not only from the provinces and territories but also from other departments when the Department of National Defence provides them with a service.

That statement caused a public outcry in my constituency, which is located in a region that had already called in the army for help in 1998, during the ice storm. Quebeckers will categorically refuse to pay a second time, through their municipal and provincial taxes, for the assistance provided by the army, because they already paid for it once with their federal taxes.

This absurd proposal shows once again just how much the Conservatives improvise and then back down. More importantly, it shows how insensitive they are to the plight of flood victims who lost everything.

The Great LakesStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, since Canada introduced new ballast water rules in 2006, there have been no new invasive species found in the Great Lakes. By taking a balanced approach, we have established a strong environmental record while helping the economy.

I am glad that the Great Lakes communities have advocated for a balanced approach to protecting our Great Lakes, unlike the proposed regulations that the state of New York abandoned last year.

Last year, Great Lakes communities in Canada and the United States, from Leamington, Ontario to Oswego, New York joined St. Catharines in calling for sensible and technologically achievable ballast water regulations.

As a member for a Great Lakes community, I call on the governments of Canada and the United States to do what is right and take a balanced approach to helping our communities promote jobs, economic growth, and the long-term environmental health of the Great Lakes' ecosystem.

Pink Shirt DayStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind Canadians that Pink Shirt Day is Wednesday, February 27.

Pink Shirt Day started several years ago after a Nova Scotia high school student was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt. The next day, many of his classmates showed up to school wearing pink shirts to stand up against bullying. The event has grown since then, and last year 6.4 million Canadians took part.

We all know that bullying can be a major problem and, unfortunately, we know the devastating impacts it can have.

I would like to acknowledge the wonderful work done in promoting this day on Prince Edward Island by Joe Killorn, son of Dr. Leo Killorn, a man who certainly helped me get my life in order.

I am sure that my colleagues in the House will join me and encourage everyone across this country to take a stand against bullying.

Status of WomenStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have made gains in Canada in electing more women to all levels of government across our country. However, as new communications media, such as Twitter, change how we talk to each other and as more women choose to run for office, we must continue to stand vigilant against sexist vitriol geared to objectifying and belittling women in office.

I want to congratulate Ms. Diamond Isinger for her blog project Madam Premier, the purpose of which is to shed light on these types of comments.

I also want to thank my colleagues in this place who have reached across party lines to stand up for one another and me when this type of language comes to their attention, which, sadly, still occurs with some frequency.

Judge us on our policy and judge us on our performance. On behalf of all of my colleagues, all of the women in my life who have supported me in this journey—and this one is for them—all the women who have fought for our right to be here and all the women I certainly hope will follow us to this place, I know that together we will not tolerate those who seek to belittle us based on our gender.

We should name it and shame it.

St. Anthony of Padua ChurchStatements by Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to St. Anthony of Padua Church in Ottawa Centre, whose congregation is celebrating 100 years in 2013.

This beautiful church at Booth and Gladstone is a touchstone and a beloved landmark in Little Italy. It has survived two fires, and it holds a century's worth of memories. St. Anthony's has been at the heart of Ottawa's Italian-Canadian community, with its numerous parish associations, like the Sons of Italy, the Ladies' Aid and St. Anthony's soccer club. Who can forget Father Jerome who helped so many Italian immigrants settle in Ottawa during their first years in Canada?

I congratulate St. Anthony's clergy and staff, the Servite community and parishioners. We join them in celebrating 100 years of this proud Ottawa institution, and we look forward to the next 100 years.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee MedalStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to recognize individuals in my riding of Simcoe—Grey who have demonstrated true community service and volunteerism, individuals who are receiving the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. This commemorative medal is a way of Canada honouring Her Majesty's 60 years of service and serves to honour significant contributions by Canadians.

Camille-Marie Boucher, a member of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, has dedicated a significant amount of time advocating for first nation people in northern Ontario.

Second Lieutenant Daniel Copeland, a veteran of the Canadian armed forces, is a local businessman who spends extensive time with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Scouts Canada and the Alliston Volunteer Fire Fighters.

Honorary Colonel Kenneth Hedges has served in various regions around the world and was awarded the distinguished Polar Medal. He is a physician in northern Ontario and the Northwest Territories. He is currently a member of the Honourable Guard of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters.

These select individuals are a true testament to the service and dedication represented by Her Majesty. They have given so much to Simcoe—Grey and to our country. I want to congratulate them on this tremendous honour.

JusticeStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, restoring the confidence of Canadians in our criminal justice system continues to be an ongoing priority for this government.

Ever since we were first elected in 2006, the government has passed over 30 measures aimed at keeping our streets and communities safe. These include ending early parole for murderers, tougher penalties for impaired driving, raising the age of consent, and eliminating the use of house arrest for serious crimes such as sexual assault and kidnapping.

According to the Department of Justice, between 1994 and 2004 the number of review board admissions increased by 50%. This is partly why we have introduced the not criminally responsible reform bill. We are acting to ensure that public safety is given paramount consideration.

Canadians and victims have expressed significant concerns that such individuals could be released back into the community. We are taking action to ensure that public safety comes first. We will continue acting to strengthen Canada's justice system. I hope that for once we can count on the support of the opposition parties in our efforts to stand up for victims and all law-abiding Canadians.

Lunar New YearStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House to bring to all members' attention the celebration of Lunar New Year by millions of Canadians. Among these, I want to pay particular tribute to Canadians of Chinese and Vietnamese descent, for whom this time of year is especially meaningful.

Chinese New Year and Vietnamese Tet represent more than 4,000 years of history. They are the grandest and most important festivals in these cultures. They are times of worship and gratitude, remembering ancestors and honouring family, and wishing good fortune, new beginnings and hope for the future.

This is the Year of the Snake. The snake symbolizes intelligence, capability, calmness, astuteness and wealth. As we wish these qualities for every Canadian, let us also hope that these may characterize our deliberations in the House.

I want to thank all of those who celebrate Lunar New Year for sharing this wonderful festival with all Canadians. Their gifts of culture enrich our nation.

2013 Scotties Tournament of HeartsStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, rock on.

This weekend, Kingston Ontario's K-Rock Centre will be host to a different kind of rock as Canada's best women curlers compete at the national curling championships, better known as the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

I know that Canadians from all across the country will be watching as defending champion Heather Nedohin's team faces challenges from the likes of Manitoba's Jennifer Jones, Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones, and from my own home province of Ontario, one of the top young exciting teams in the tournament, skipped by Rachel Homan, who hope to continue their own success following their undefeated roll through the Ontario women's championships last month.

It will not take long for Team Ontario to show that Homan is where the heart is, as they hurry hard to victory, but of course I know that all of us here in the House wish all of the teams from across the country the best of luck. We know that whoever wins the Scotties will represent us all well at the 2013 worlds in Latvia.

Women and PoliticsStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, although women represent 50% of the population, their participation in our political institutions often remains marginal. In our federal Parliament, for instance, out of a possible 306 seats, only 76 women were elected on May 2, 2011.

The Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine, or TCLCF, has been examining this issue. Do women have their rightful place in politics? Can women in politics really change the world?

Like the inspiring women in Laval who have been debating these issues, I say “yes”. In Laval, we have some wonderful examples of influential women who care deeply about their community.

The TCLCF decided to shed some light on political life for these women through some informative workshops. I had the good fortune of meeting many participants and sharing my own story.

I learned recently that many of these women have decided to run in the next municipal election as a result of these workshops. I wish them all the best of luck, because we need more women at every level of government.

I wish to thank the TCLCF for igniting these passions. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

National Flag of Canada DayStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 48th anniversary of Canada's national flag, our distinctive red and white maple leaf. On this day in 1965, it was raised over Parliament Hill and hundreds of communities across Canada.

Our flag, and all it represents, is cherished by Canadians and admired by people in every corner of the world as a symbol of freedom, democracy and human rights.

The National Flag of Canada Day provides us with a unique opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian and to acknowledge the people, accomplishments, history, institutions and values that have helped shape our national identity.

As we approach Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, let us continue to celebrate all the things that make Canada a united, strong and free country, the country we enjoy living in today. I encourage Canadians to join together to celebrate this treasured national symbol on National Flag of Canada Day, today and every day.

National Flag of Canada DayStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, in September 1964, Prime Minister Pearson and opposition leader Diefenbaker agreed on the creation of a special committee on the flag. On October 29, the committee tabled a report with a recommended option. A lengthy and vigorous debate ensued. At 2:15 a.m. on December 15, a free vote was held in the House. The result was 163 for and 78 against. A royal proclamation was given on January 28, 1965 and on February 15, 1965, 48 years ago today, our beautiful flag was first raised over Parliament Hill and across the country.

Prime Minister Pearson firmly believed that the adoption of a new flag would strengthen national unity. He was right. We love our flag and proudly fly it in front of our homes, schools, community centres, hospitals, government offices and just about everywhere.

One of the members of the multi-party parliamentary committee on the flag was John Ross Matheson, a former Liberal member of the House. Mr. Matheson is now 95 and lives in Kingston, Ontario. We thank him and all those involved in giving us such a powerful and respected symbol.

TaxationStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we made a promise to Canadians in 2006. We promised to lower taxes, and that is exactly what we have done. We lowered the GST by 2% and introduced countless tax credits. Thanks to our measures, Canadian families now have $3,000 more in their pockets each and every year.

Our government will continue with our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. We will continue to deliver on our promises and ensure that Canadians keep more of their own money.

In contrast, the NDP leader made a promise in his platform to impose a carbon tax that would generate billions, a carbon tax that would raise the price of everything Canadian families pay for.

We delivered on our promise to keep taxes low. Will the NDP deliver on its promise and implement a hefty carbon tax that would cost Canadians billions, hurt families and damage the economy?

The SenateStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the former Reformers look in the mirror and see Liberals, they must feel a little queasy.

In the 1990s they were on their high horses, calling for change in Ottawa. There were too many partisan appointments, too many members of Parliament taking liberties. There was too much of the Liberal culture of entitlement, not to mention their aversion to the Senate.

“Too expensive,” said some. “Undemocratic,” added others. “A relic of the 19th century”, added the Prime Minister, who was an ordinary member of Parliament at the time and still had some principles.

Alas, many years later, they have settled in comfortably and their principles have flown out the window. Now they fight tooth and nail in defence of Senator Wallin and her enormous spending—at taxpayers' expense—on travel to campaign for the Conservative Party.

The senator from Nunavut has a phony residence, but he is exempt because the Senate is a “complex file with many facets”. No wonder even Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is calling for a referendum on the future of the Senate. He admits himself that the Senate has no legitimacy.

We in the NDP are clear: we will abolish the Senate. And, unlike the Conservatives, we will keep our promise.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is full of contradictions. The leader of the NDP says he supports western Canadians, but then turns around and calls the industries they work in a disease. The NDP claims to support trade, but it has opposed every single free trade deal brought forward by our government and even sent an anti-trade mission to Washington to advocate against Canadian jobs.

Yesterday it tried to claim that it was standing up for Canadian taxpayers, but the NDP has a plan to impose a new $20-billion carbon tax on everything. The NDP leader's new job-killing carbon tax will raise the price of gas, groceries and electricity. This new NDP leader's job-killing carbon tax will kill jobs and stall the economy.

Our government will stand up against the NDP leader's job-killing tax, and we will continue to lower taxes for all Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of the Environment said for the umpteenth time in seven years that greenhouse gas emissions regulations for the oil sector will be announced soon.

The Conservatives made the same promise in 2011.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Canadians and our largest trading partner, the United States, have doubts about whether the Conservative government really intends to fight climate change.

When exactly will the regulations go into effect? How much will it cost businesses to comply?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this has already been put on the table. We have already implemented reforms to protect our environment and the climate. Our government has policies to combat this global problem.

However, we are against the NDP's proposal to create a new $21 billion carbon tax. It is right there in black and white in the NDP platform. We are against it. Our reforms and policies have already met with success.

Just today, we announced new programs to combat greenhouse gas emissions across Canada that will build on our success.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, when promises are made but not kept, people lose confidence.

The latest economic data from the manufacturing sector are extremely disturbing. It is reported that the sector has declined by 3.1%, and that will cause considerable downward pressure on our GDP.

Eighty-two per cent of businesses report a drop in sales. They are losing $1.5 million a month. That is the largest drop since the 2009 recession.

When will there be a growth plan for all economic sectors?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we already have put real programs on the table—real programs, real policies and real investments in our economy. And we have had real success.

As an example, here is what the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said about our programs: “The government's policies with respect to taxes, technology, trade, training and transformation are extremely important at setting the stage for growth of advanced manufacturing industries in Canada.”

We have put our programs on the table. We have had success. We are creating jobs in every part of the country because we ignore the NDP's suggestions that run counter to the needs of our economy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 15th, 2013 / 11:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

The result, Mr. Speaker, is that 300,000 more Canadians are looking for work. Canadians deserve better than that.

The government has been repeatedly warned that failing to protect the environment will have economic costs. Now it is being challenged by our closest ally to take action on climate change.

How many jobs will Canadians miss out on while Conservatives get their act together? How many countries will shut their doors to our resources because of the government's irresponsible policies? When will the Conservatives stop stalling, defend the Canadian interest and take real, effective action on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, of course we have taken action on climate change, and as a matter of fact, we are already halfway toward our goal to reduce emissions by 17% for 2020. The action is before us. As a matter of fact, the Commissioner of the Environment made very clear testimony about the fact that he has confidence in our government's approach.

What Canadians do not have confidence in, of course, though, is the NDP way, and we know what the NDP way is, which is to tax and to regulate into the ground industries and whole economies of this country. We know that the leader of the NDP thinks that Alberta's energy sector is a disease in the country. We know that the NDP supports a carbon tax. We will continue to fight them and stand up for the environment at the same time.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

The NDP way is to get the job done, Mr. Speaker.

What the Conservatives have done against the environment, they are doing against manufacturing. This government has been the worst government in our nation's history for loss of manufacturing jobs. They have lost 500,000 family-sustaining jobs on their watch. The latest figures are even worse: a 3.1% further decline in manufacturing sales. That is the largest decline since May 2009.

Will they start fixing what they have broken? Will they change their policies in the next budget to get back the manufacturing jobs they have lost?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, what we will do in our budget is what we have done in our previous budgets, of course, which have seen success for the Canadian economy.

I do not know where he gets his job numbers from, but the truth, through Stats Canada, is that the Canadian economy has created 900,000 net new jobs since the worst part of the recession. Our plan is working.

When he talks about the manufacturing sector, here is what the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association has said:

The government's policies with respect to taxes, technology, trade, training, and transformation are extremely important in setting the stage for growth of advanced manufacturing industries in Canada.

They are the experts. They agree with us. The NDP members do not know what they are talking about.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know what they are talking about. While they are losing their jobs, the Conservatives' never-ending gravy train in the Senate is continuing. After Senator Duffy and Senator Wallin, now Senator Patterson, of Nunavut, cannot say where he lives. He calls it a complex matter with many facets. It is not complicated. He is required to live in Nunavut, yet he claimed a homeowner's grant for B.C. residence.

It is a simple question of disclosure. Will the government now demand the disclosure of already completed audits into the expenses of Senator Wallin, Senator Duffy and other senators?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, Senator Patterson is a former territorial premier. He is a former MLA for Iqaluit. He, in fact, was involved in a 20-year fight to create the territory of Nunavut. Northerners know that he is a northerner. He has a residence in the territory. He has fought long and hard, indeed, for the people of the north. He always has.

However, what is really laughable is not just this attack on Senator Patterson but also, frankly, the NDP's approach to Senate reform, which is to express a sentiment but to have no plan whatsoever. They have never tabled reforms before the House. They have opposed all of our reforms. They do not even run candidates in Senate elections when we hold them in Alberta, and now they pretend to actually have a plan. It is truly laughable.