House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.


Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt the CBC plays a very important role in Canada's economy, but it is very important that we recognize that the CBC's primary role has been to enrich Canada's social fabric from coast to coast to coast, whether through radio, or TV, and more and more we are seeing a stronger Internet presence. When we look forward into the future of CBC, there is no doubt that Canadians as a whole support the need for a CBC. This is something we have argued for many years.

As opposed to getting into some of the comments that the member made reference to in regard to accountability and transparency, leaders and so forth, and what took place in PROC committee earlier today, what I would rather emphasize is this question for the member. Does she see the value in raising the profile of the CBC when we had a member from the Conservative Party who stood in this place today and said that CBC English is no longer required? It seems to me there is a bit of a hidden agenda coming from the Conservative ranks. We need to focus some attention on that issue here this afternoon. Would she not agree?

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are so many bits and pieces to that, but essentially, as I indicated in my remarks, CBC and the culture, the heritage, the reality it presents to all Canadians, unites us. It unites us in terms of our languages, our linguistic reality, and our experiences across the country.

The member mentioned that value and I would like to talk a bit about some incredible value that CBC has helped London, Ontario with. Just after July 1 every year we have the most incredible festival in the country. It is called Sunfest. Artists come from across the world and locally in order to entertain audiences. The CBC records those performances and broadcasts them all across the country. It enhances London's reputation. It enhances our artists' reputations and it brings us together. All of this is important and, for the life of me, I do not understand why anyone would undermine or undervalue that.

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, although we often say that we are pleased to speak on an issue, we are not pleased, in fact, because we do not like the fact that we have reached such a point, as so often happens. However, I am very pleased to speak to the motion moved by my colleague from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher about the $45 million in cuts in the Conservative budget this year. I am not counting the $130 million or so that has been cut since 2008-09, if I recall the dates correctly.

This is an important issue to me because, in just the past few months, I have received hundreds of letters and emails from people in my constituency of Chambly—Borduas, not to mention the several thousand pieces of correspondence I have received since I was elected in 2011, when the Conservatives won their majority. There is no getting around the fact that the biggest cuts have coincided with that Conservative majority. Because of that majority, they are finally able to fulfill the objective they have had for so long. They make no secret of it: Conservative members have spoken publicly about abolishing the public broadcaster. It is also no secret that, at a Conservative convention, resolutions have been passed calling for the public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada, to be privatized.

The people back home are worried about this for a number of reasons. Clearly, we cannot ignore the French fact. I believe it is one of the unique characteristics of Radio-Canada, especially in Quebec, where there is a large population of francophones, but also in francophone communities outside Quebec. There is a certain solidarity in the francophonie. Although we are fortunate in Quebec to have a francophone majority and to be able to defend the French fact, that is not so much the case outside Quebec. There has been a certain solidarity in that regard. We see it in the way groups representing francophone areas outside Quebec—communities where there is a linguistic minority—are denouncing the cuts because those cuts are jeopardizing a service that is vital to the validation of their identity. That is the role of the public broadcaster. With its truly unique mandate, it validates several elements of our identity.

That brings me to my next point. Some of us had the opportunity to watch the episode of Tout le monde en parle that aired a few weeks ago, which featured some well-known and very respected journalists. Among them was Alain Gravel of the program Enquête. They talked about the impact that these cuts will have on Radio-Canada's news service. There have already been some unfortunate and rather draconian changes to the Enquête team because of these cuts. When we consider the important role that this program has played in Quebec's legal and political landscape, with the various revelations made by its excellent team, we see that this is not just about identity. It is also about getting the information out and making sure that we have a healthy democracy.

We heard the minister say that, although the government is making budget cuts, the public broadcaster is an independent crown corporation and it is not the government's fault if the corporation decided to cut back in that way. It is hard to swallow the fact that the government does not seem prepared to recognize, at least not publicly, that these decisions are being made as a result of the budget cuts. It is all well and good for the government to say that it was not involved in Radio-Canada's decision to cut one producer and two journalists from the program Enquête, but the fact remains that this happened because of these budget cuts.

I heard some Conservative members say that CBC/Radio-Canada will have to adapt and look for private sector advertising revenue.

However, if a private company decides to buy ad space, it is more likely to do so during the broadcast of an American film at 7 p.m. than during the broadcast of a half-hour show or an hour-long show like Enquête. That is why it is important to have a public broadcaster, because at the end of the day, the taxpayers are paying for this. They do not have to negotiate with private companies that are looking to pay the best price for the best ad space. I am not saying that there is no room for that at Radio-Canada, but it is important to realize that this cannot be the only solution or the public broadcaster will become a channel like all the others. I mean no disrespect to the other channels. However, we must recognize Radio-Canada's unique mandate.

The impact on news services has not just affected shows like Enquête. There is always something interesting to read on the Influence Communication website, which looks at media trends in Quebec in particular. When we look at how different issues are handled in Quebec media, we unfortunately see that international news seems to be lacking. That is one thing that both Radio-Canada and the CBC do rather well. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to do so because they are lacking resources as a result of the budget cuts. Obviously, when a public broadcaster that relies on taxpayers' money is suddenly left to cope with a smaller budget, the first thing to go is the services abroad that send information back here. That is rather important.

Once again, getting the information out is part of a healthy democracy, but it also important to properly equip the broadcaster so that people are able to access that information.

Most of us have different plans with cable companies. Channels are becoming increasingly specialized. For example, there are sports channels and news channels. There is another debate right now over the unbundling of cable packages.

At the end of the day, regardless of how much we pay and what package we take, we can be sure to still have the CBC/Radio-Canada news channels and regular channels that are not all-news channels. We were sure to have those two channels without having to pay an additional fee. Now, as a result of these cuts, in the future CBC/Radio-Canada could unfortunately be forced to follow that trend. I find that very worrisome.

The government often talks about reducing the deficit. It does not seem very smart to be reducing the deficit at the expense of CBC/Radio-Canada.

Here is a good example. Look at the people who are going to lose their jobs. This shows the Conservative government's mismanagement. One of the groups that was hardest hit by the employment insurance reform—I mention this because there is a relevant connection here—was the set technicians. They are affected by the changes to the employment insurance regulations because of the nature and duration of their work. Sometimes they do contract work. These same technicians will be the first to pay the price of the cuts to CBC. In addition to losing their jobs, they are also going to be adversely affected by another file that has been mismanaged by the Conservative government and that is the employment insurance reform.

It is interesting because when we make all these connections, we see that the Conservative government does not actually care about the real impact that these cuts will have on our identity and on CBC/Radio-Canada's unique mandate as a news and culture broadcaster in our communities.

However, that is not all. These cuts will also affect the people who have jobs and who will now lose them. That is shameful. That is why I am rising today to support my colleague from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, who does excellent work. We will continue to stand up and support our public broadcaster.

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to highlight what CBC has meant to Canadians from coast to coast to coast over the years and the positive impact it has had on our society as a whole.

We have seen a government, whether through petitions or statements over the last number of years, put into question the valuable role that CBC can play. One of the biggest statements we can get out of the government today is a commitment toward CBC as an important national treasure.

Could the member comment on that, given a Conservative member stood in his place today and said that CBC should not even be in English TV? Is there a Conservative hidden agenda to get rid of CBC?

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would go so far as to say that, if it is a hidden agenda, they did not hide it very well, because at least two members publicly stated that they basically wanted to do away with the public broadcaster. We know that resolutions were adopted at the Conservative Party convention to privatize CBC/Radio-Canada.

For the Conservatives, CBC/Radio-Canada is just a television station like any other, and I explained in my speech why that is problematic. They want to push CBC/Radio-Canada aside. They are saying that more funding will be needed for programming, or else there will be more situations like what happened with the hockey contracts. We are not blaming CBC/Radio-Canada for losing the right to broadcast hockey games, but the Conservative government's management of this file is not helping. The Conservatives do not seem to be taking into account the identity aspect of this issue.

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, since this debate started, a number of speakers have mentioned the breadth of the mandate entrusted to the CBC. In terms of adequate funding, I wonder whether my colleague from Chambly—Borduas would say that a private broadcaster would undertake such a broad mandate as CBC's with so little funding and with the cuts that have been announced?

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is an good question. I mentioned that problem.

A private broadcaster would undertake the mandate it could undertake with the funding at its disposal and with a knowledge of where it has to go to get it.

When a private company wants to buy time for its commercials, it is unfortunately more likely to choose to air them during a major American film dubbed into French rather than during a Canadian production.

That is exactly why CBC/Radio-Canada exists: to broadcast and promote our own unique, homegrown content in an accessible way, two things that the private sector is unfortunately not always able to do in the same way. Let us be clear, there is room for both. We are not saying that it must be one or the other, but that seems to be the view of the Conservatives. The private sector has a role to play, but so does the public broadcaster. It must not be neglected, as the Conservative government is doing.

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario


Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to talk about the CBC.

I commend the member for Winnipeg North. It has been a long time since I heard the “hidden agenda” reference, so I congratulate him for being able to throw one of those into this debate. I am sure he will try in subsequent questions to throw in a “George W. Bush” because no debate he is included in would be complete without a “hidden agenda” and a “George W. Bush” reference. I want to commend him for that.

When we look at the CBC, it is important to look at it in a broader context. It is always difficult to hear the Liberals defend anything, and I am sure my colleagues on the NDP side will agree with me. When the Liberals were in office, and the NDP referenced this yesterday in another debate we had, their attacks on the CBC were legendary. They absolutely decimated funding to the CBC.

Now the Liberals get up in this place, on this debate, and talk about how important CBC is, and that “My gosh, if it wasn't for Mr. Dressup, they would not be here”. What did they think of Mr. Dressup and Finnegan when they cut $400 million and more from the CBC? I guess it was not important then, this national treasure of the CBC.

The member for Winnipeg North called CBC a “national treasure”, but the Liberals decimated it with cuts. They did not just decimate the CBC, they also went after health care, social transfers, post-secondary education. What they did to the military was a decade of darkness for it. That is the Liberal record on just about everything.

The Liberals talk a good game, but when it comes to providing good government for Canadians, they push that out the door and focus on what is good for the Liberal Party and their pockets.

The Liberals talked about sponsorship, so let us talk about sponsorship and commercials. What did the Liberals do? We all know about the sponsorship scandal. Imagine what the extra $40 million, which was stolen by the Liberal Party, would do in the context of today. It would be there for Canadians to use. We are still looking for that money.

I want to take the opportunity to commend not only the current Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages but also the current Minister of Industry, who was the former minister of Canadian Heritage. We knew on this side of the House, unlike the Liberals when they were in government, how important arts and culture are to the Canadian economy, not just how Canadians felt about their country or their communities and the provinces.

We understand the pride we get from our artists, the pride we have when a Canadian artist is successful in other countries. We have pride when we go abroad and see Canadian artwork hanging in important museums. It is not just that, but it is how important it is to our communities. We understand that.

That is why in 2008, when the economy took a turn for the worst, when the global economy was at its worst and when every other country in the world was making cuts to arts and culture, we took a different path because we understood then, as we understand today, how important it was to protect and enhance that community, which gives us so much pride.

As I said, we increased funding to arts and culture. We are one of the only G7 countries that has augmented or increased funding to arts and culture, and the results have been spectacular.

I remember at one point a couple of years ago when the Minister of Industry, who was the minister of Canadian Heritage at that time, referred to the fact that five Canadian artists were at the top of the Billboard charts.

I know some of the members of the NDP referred to the importance of jobs when it came to arts. Absolutely, it is important. Arts and culture is responsible for so many jobs in our country, more than 127,000 jobs across the country. It is not just, as the opposition sometimes likes to focus on, about the actors, it is not just about the directors, it is about the other people who help support these productions. These are the types of people we are providing assistance to through our tax cuts, which opposition members constantly vote against. This is about the carpenters, the electricians, the seamstresses, the hairdressers, the makeup artists, and all the people who help support productions in their communities across the country.

I will be happy to continue with my remarks after question period.

Opposition Motion—CBC/Radio-CanadaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The time for government orders has expired. The hon. parliamentary secretary will have 15 minutes when this matter returns before the House after question period.

Maurice Lamontagne InstituteStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has now been more than two months since Graham Fraser, the Commissioner of Official Languages, released his investigation report on the government's desire to close Fisheries and Oceans Canada's only French-language scientific library.

The report shows that the department's decision to close the MLI's library was made with no impact analysis. Such an analysis would have allowed the department to measure the effect of the decision on the recognition of French. The commissioner is clear: he formally asks the government to reverse its decision immediately. The international scientific community and media from around the world have weighed in and now describe this attempt as Canada's desire to destroy its scientific heritage.

The minister's inaction has now become negligence on her part. She is showing herself to be incapable of complying with the Official Languages Act. She said that she wanted to wait for the results of the investigation before acting, so it is now time for her to get on with it and confirm that the MLI library will remain open.

2014 Alberta Summer GamesStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to inform the House that from July 24 to July 27, the city of Airdrie will host the 2014 Alberta Summer Games. The community will host more than 3,200 participants, coaches, and officials as Alberta's top athletes, ages 11 to 17, compete in 15 different sports.

As the single largest supporter of the Canadian sport system, our government is proud to support participation and excellence from the playground to the podium. Events like the Alberta Summer Games not only help build Canada's reputation for excellence and competition but also promote the many benefits of sport, encouraging children and youth of all ages and backgrounds to lead healthier and more active lives.

The Alberta games have a storied history dating back to the inaugural event held in Calgary 40 years ago, but I can promise this: “You ain't seen nothin' yet”.

I want to thank the many sponsors, coaches, administrators, and volunteers hosting this community-wide celebration, including games chair Al Jones, who are working long hours to ensure this year's event is the best ever.

Sébastien SassevilleStatements By Members

2 p.m.


François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, running across Canada is quite a feat. Doing it while managing a condition such as type 1 diabetes is even more remarkable.

Today, I would like to pay tribute to a young man who left St. John's, Newfoundland, in February on a journey to raise spirits and funds for the fight against diabetes. He is calling all of us to action, no matter what our physical condition.

Sébastien Sasseville will be in the nation's capital on Friday, May 16. He is on a mission and, like a champion, he is leaving no room for failure. He has climbed Kilimanjaro, completed the Ironman six times and run across the Sahara.

For Sébastien Sasseville, those challenges were not necessarily the ultimate goal. He picks up life lessons along the way and shares them during the motivational speeches he gives across the country.

The prevalence of type 1 diabetes in Canada is on the rise. Three million Canadians are living with this disease. Sébastien Sasseville is an example of resilience, someone who will undoubtedly inspire all of those people and their families.

Naturopathic Medicine WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know my constituents in Oshawa appreciate more health and wellness choices. This week, May 12 to May 18, is Naturopathic Medicine Week. Naturopathic doctors are addressing the needs of Canadians by providing them with the tools they need to take a proactive approach to their health care.

As primary health care practitioners, naturopathic doctors identify the underlying causes of disease and use a blend of conventional, traditional, and natural medicines to deliver an individualized approach to health care. Our Conservative government recognizes the importance of naturopathic doctors. In the recent federal budget, we eliminated the GST-HST on services provided by acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors, increasing access to front-line primary health care services to Canadians across our great country.

I ask everyone here today to recognize Naturopathic Medicine Week.

Battle of the Atlantic PlaceStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust is promoting a unique project to preserve the last remaining naval corvette to tell the story of Canada's lead role in the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest battle of World War II. This ambitious undertaking is called Battle of the Atlantic Place, a legacy project for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

The multi-million-dollar project would provide a permanent home to HMCS Sackville and would be a focal point on Halifax's waterfront. Trust members deserve credit for their efforts to preserve this important part of Canada's story. I urge the government to get behind this important project.

Free TradeStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight our government's plan to create new jobs for the residents of southwestern Manitoba.

Since 2006, we have signed and/or concluded new free trade agreements with 38 countries. I cannot stress enough the importance of gaining access to new customers and new markets around the world. Overall, Manitoba has a lot to gain from these historic agreements, such as new markets for agriculture products, new customers for beef and pork products, new markets for freshwater fish, and the elimination of tariffs on Manitoba machinery and equipment.

I am pleased to share with the House that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade will be coming to Brandon—Souris next week to speak directly to local businesses and agriculture producers. I am also inviting all constituents to take the opportunity to speak to the parliamentary secretary and learn first-hand how free trade directly benefits the local economy.

Bud OsbornStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Bud Osborn was an extraordinary leader and activist in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. His death has caused grief and sadness of a magnitude rarely seen.

Bud was a critical part of the struggle for the rights and dignity of drug users. He worked tirelessly for the opening of InSite. When times were dark and people felt hopeless, he gave us hope. When people felt that they had no voice, his poetry raised many voices and gave people courage. When people yearned for belonging and community, he led by example and united people in a common cause for human dignity and respect.

He worked with elected representatives, academics, journalists, and more to stop the madness of the so-called war on drugs. He spoke the truth always and without equivocation. Bud's greatest impact was his life's work for and with those without voice. He showed people that they could speak out, be heard, and change the course of history.

In the 100 block of East Hastings Street tomorrow, the community will unite to grieve and to celebrate the life of Bud Osborn and what he gave us.

Rejuvenation of Maplewood FarmStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the pleasure of seeing the results of nearly $250,000 in federal funding come to fruition in my riding of North Vancouver. This exciting project was the rejuvenation of Maplewood Farm. Funding through our government's community infrastructure improvement and the District of North Vancouver has helped revitalize Maplewood with a new indoor meeting space, fully accessible washroom facilities, covered viewing shelters, and even an upgraded goat playground.

Maplewood Farm is a local landmark with a history that stretches back to the 1920s, when it started as a dairy. Over the years, it has evolved into a fun family attraction where kids can meet the animals, learn how to be a farmer for a day in the popular “behind the scenes” event, meet the local farmhands, and go for pony rides.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the countless volunteers who donate their time and energy to help keep the farm running smoothly. I am happy to say that with their help and the help of our government's significant investment, Maplewood Farm will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship ActStatements By Members

May 15th, 2014 / 2:05 p.m.


Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government has introduced Bill C-24, which would strengthen the value of Canadian citizenship by fast-tracking it for the Canadian Armed Forces and revoking it from convicted terrorists. However, the Liberals and the NDP continue to oppose revoking the citizenship of convicted terrorists.

The Liberals and NDP either fail to understand the bill or are intentionally misleading Canadians by saying that there is not enough due process for convicted terrorists before their citizenship is revoked. We all know that anyone charged with terrorism in Canada is innocent until proven guilty and that they have the right to appeal up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

According to a national poll, 80% of NDP voters, 87% of Liberal voters and 83% of those who immigrated to Canada support stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists.

I ask the opposition Liberals and NDP to stop playing dangerous games and support this measure in Bill C-24.

Canada PostStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, opposition to the cuts to Canada Post continues to grow in my riding of Hamilton Centre. My constituents are adding their voice to those of Canadians from coast to coast to coast who are outraged that the government is supporting the end of home delivery, cutting thousands of good-paying jobs, and increasing the cost of sending a letter by nearly 40%.

These changes to door-to-door delivery will make it more difficult for seniors, people with mobility issues, and those with disabilities to receive their mail. Furthermore, rising costs for fewer services will have a detrimental impact on small businesses in my community, all of this while the Prime Minister's appointed head of Canada Post receives a six-figure bonus for this cutting of services.

The Conservative government has broken its promise to protect consumers and has turned its back on local postal service. Hamiltonians deserve better from their government. New Democrats will continue to stand up against these cuts and fight for a strong Canadian postal service.

Vision HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, May is national Vision Health Month, and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind wants to make vision health awareness a priority for all Canadians. We know that 75% of vision loss is avoidable, yet in Canada someone loses their vision every 12 minutes.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, with over a million Canadians having some form of AMD, including individuals within my riding of Don Valley West. The number of Canadians who experience vision loss is forecast to double over the next 20 years, as one in four Canadians over the age of 75 will develop macular degeneration.

As demographics change in Canada, the cost of vision loss is going to rise, making our health care system even more costly for Canadians. The CNIB and Vision 2020 Canada are working to create a vision health plan for Canada. I encourage all parliamentarians to join me in advocating for this important health issue.

African Business NetworkStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the NDP's deputy critic for employment and social development, I would like to point out the remarkable work being done by REPAF, the African Business Network.

Co-founded by Komlan Messie and a number of other members, REPAF is a dynamic, multidisciplinary network that, under the direction of Régis Dahany, brings together African entrepreneurs and professionals in the greater Montreal area.

I am very proud to have attended REPAF's seventh awards gala last week. The theme was “vision and inspiration”. This is an opportunity for me today to highlight the network's contribution to the integration and success of business people from the African community.

I hope that REPAF will continue its efforts and that they have much success.

National Day of HonourStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, Canadians in communities across our country attended ceremonies and parades to mark the National Day of Honour. My wife and I attended right here on Parliament Hill.

It was a fine opportunity for all Canadians, including our promising youth, to remember the 40,000 brave men and women who served in Afghanistan.

More than 250 youth participated in this important day, including students of Notre Dame High School, who had the opportunity to commemorate those who served in Afghanistan and to pay tribute to the fallen at the National Day of Honour ceremony here on Parliament Hill.

It is a pleasure to see that our local schools are encouraging our youth to honour the exemplary service of our brave veterans.

It is a pleasure that our local schools are encouraging our youth to honour the exemplary service of our courageous veterans.

Holocaust Remembrance DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, national Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us, as the survivors know only too well, of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened, of the Holocaust as a war against the Jews in which not all victims were Jews, but all Jews everywhere were targeted victims.

It is symbolized by the marking this year of the 70th anniversary of the mass deportation of 430,000 Hungarian Jews to the death camps in Auschwitz in 10 weeks, representing the fastest and most brutally efficient extermination of the Shoah.

I commemorated the rescue of the remnant of Hungarian Jews by Raoul Wallenberg in the March of the Living in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Wallenberg, the disappeared hero of the Holocaust, demonstrated that one person can confront evil, can resist, can prevail, and can thereby transform history.

Holocaust survivors with us today, including those rescued by Wallenberg, are the true heroes of humanity. With them we pledge to never again be silent or indifferent in the face of evil, never again to acquiesce in racism and anti-Semitism, and always to speak and to act on behalf of our common humanity.

Never again. Jamais plus.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents of Don Valley East were very troubled when the RCMP Canadian firearms program unilaterally banned several rifles. These rifles have been sold in Canada for many years, and there is no evidence of widespread criminal use.

Recently, Sun News Network learned that the Minister of Public Safety not only was not consulted on this unacceptable decision to turn thousands of Canadians into criminals overnight, but was only given a few short hours' notice that it was even happening.

A fundamental principle of the rule of law is civilian oversight of police. As a free and democratic society, we cannot tolerate police ignoring those who were elected by law-abiding citizens.

That is why I am pleased to learn that the Minister of Public Safety will be bringing forward measures to ensure that this never happens again. Our Conservative government believes that owning a gun is a right that comes with responsibilities. We will always stand up for law-abiding hunters, farmers, and sport shooters.

Montreal CanadiensStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberals and the Conservatives—the two establishment parties that re-struck their age-old alliance, the one where Ignatieff gave his full support to Conservative budgets—invented stories and leaked confidential information, Montreal and the entire staff of the official opposition leader's Montreal office were glued to their televisions.

Whether in their living rooms, at bars or in the Bell Centre, they gathered to support their team, the only Canadian team left in the series.

Like the NDP in 2011, the Canadiens were considered the underdogs. Despite everything, they won the hearts of Quebeckers. Like the NDP in 2011, they overcame adversity and the cheap shots, and were more agile, quicker and hungrier than their opponents. Above all, they worked as a team.

If there were only Liberals or Conservatives, there would be only one hockey team in Canada: the Ottawa Senators. We believe that Canadians deserve better: they also deserve the Canucks, Flames, Oilers, Jets, even the Leafs and, who knows, the return of the Quebec Nordiques.

But today, we say: Go Habs Go!