House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was munitions.

Topics

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I represent a rural riding. Many people in Laurentides—Labelle do not have access to a wide range of media options.

We rely on our public broadcaster for news, entertainment and culture. CBC/Radio-Canada is a major part of our cultural fabric. It is an institution that serves us well. In such a large country, access to national media is key. Our public broadcaster plays a vital role in the exchange of knowledge and information.

Cuts to CBC/Radio-Canada are hitting my riding and the rest of the country hard. The Conservatives have demonstrated that they see no future for CBC/Radio-Canada or for public broadcasting in Canada. That is shameful.

I join with my constituents in saying that I too support CBC/Radio-Canada.

African Institute for Mathematical SciencesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to highlight the works of AIMS, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, also known as the Next Einstein Initiative.

AIMS has already set up education centres in South Africa, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, and the next centre will be in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

I had the privilege of meeting with the AIMS team made up of Professor Neil Turok, founder and chairman of AIMS, Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, Dr. Habiba Chakir, Mr. Sam Awuku and His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania, to discuss the Tanzanian centre due to open in September 2014. The Government of Tanzania has committed a historic building for this purpose.

AIMS is a recipient of funds that our government has provided for the purpose of higher education in Africa. These centres are providing masters and doctorate degrees in mathematics and science. I hope that the funding for this outstanding program will be renewed.

VeteransStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize five veterans in my riding.

Stanley Stepaniak, Joseph Meagher, Joseph Petrie, Marshall Desveaux, and Horace Lovell were recently awarded the highest medal of honour by the French government in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. This honour is bestowed upon all those who helped liberate France in World War II between June 6 and August 31, 1944.

I had the honour of attending the D-Day celebrations in Normandy earlier this month and witnessed first-hand the outpouring of support from French citizens. I also took part in the ceremony on Juno beach where French schoolchildren gave us sand to take back home to this Parliament.

Many of those killed in that invasion were Cape Breton Highlanders.

As Canadians and Cape Bretoners, we are very proud of what these young men did for us and our country.

I ask the House to join me in giving thanks to all those who served. We will be forever grateful to them.

Member for Oak Ridges—MarkhamStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, when this session started, I had the opportunity to inform the House about my two beautiful daughters, Natalie and Olivia. As yesterday was Father's Day, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give the House an update. As a proud father, I received a bracelet from my daughter Natalie yesterday. My daughter Olivia gave me a pot of grass, but I can assure the House and the Minister of Justice that it is Kentucky blue grass and it has no medicinal impact.

I would say to all of my friends, if they find themselves in Oak Ridges—Markham this summer, please drop by my daughters' lemonade stand.

I would also like to tell all of my wonderful friends in the Press Gallery who were so helpful and so reassuring to me in the fall that if they are thirsty for lemonade and they find themselves in Oak Ridges—Markham this summer, keep driving.

Laval Relay for LifeStatements By Members

June 16th, 2014 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, I participated in the Laval Relay for Life at Leblanc school.

The event, which brings together thousands of people—volunteers, people fighting cancer and survivors—for one night each year, is very meaningful to me. This year, the relay raised over $184,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Congratulations to the organizers, participants and volunteers for working to make this year's fundraiser a memorable success. Let us remain hopeful and keep fighting.

On another note, during its annual general meeting, the Association lavalloise pour le transport adapté stated that the Canada Post cuts will have serious consequences, particularly for people with reduced mobility.

The association's executive director, Louise Audet, and its president, Monique Brazeau, along with its members, stand with the NDP in opposing the Conservative cuts and supporting continued home mail delivery, and I thank them.

National Health and Fitness DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank citizens in my riding and across the country and fellow members for working together to increase health and fitness and reduce health care costs.

In 2011, I was honoured to receive unanimous support to pass my first private member's bill, combatting crystal meth and ecstasy.

I thank the ministers of Public Safety and Health for supporting my second private member's initiative to create a national prescription drug drop-off day.

Just last Thursday, Bill S-211, creating a national health and fitness day, introduced by Senator Nancy Greene Raine, won unanimous support in the Senate. Having worked on this third initiative for years, I am proud today to be giving the first reading of Bill S-211 as its sponsor in this House. As we head toward Canada's 150th anniversary, it is amazing that over 150 cities have already proclaimed national health and fitness day even before the bill becomes law. We are on the brink of major change that will reverse trends of inactivity, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. By Canada's 150th, we will be on the trail to make Canada the fittest nation on earth.

Tourism WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, this being tourism week, we celebrate the continued success of this key industry, which brings jobs and economic growth to every single region of this country.

The year 2013 was outstanding for all of the industry's key partners, from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission, to private sector hospitality and tourism operators. All major tourism indicators for Canada are positive, with solid growth in tourism revenue, GDP, arrivals, and employment. Canada's tourism sector generates almost $85 billion in revenues annually and supports over 600,000 jobs.

The good news does not end there. Rendez-vous Canada, the CTC's premier international tourism marketplace, saw record-breaking attendance. These international buyers are our partners in the trillion-dollar global tourism industry, where every 1% increase in Canadian arrivals is equivalent to $817 million in growth in Canadian exports.

On behalf of our government and all members of this House, my congratulations to the Canadian tourism sector on yet another successful year.

Youth EmploymentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, increasingly, my generation is being referred to as a “lost generation”. There are 27% of young Canadians who are now unemployed or underemployed, and up to 300,000 are working as unpaid interns. Of all the OECD nations, Canada now has the most university grads earning less than the national median income.

Too many young workers live in a climate of uncertainty and fear.

Many young Canadians have to take unstable jobs or unpaid internships. They currently have no protection under federal law.

Today, I am pleased to introduce a private member's bill in order to give unpaid interns the same protections as paid employees. The bill would also prevent paid jobs from being converted to unpaid internships.

I urge my colleagues to support this important initiative to help young workers.

World Elder Abuse Awareness DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, June 15, was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, an important day to recognize that this very unfortunate situation exists and must be stopped. Our government, under the leadership of the Minister of State for Seniors, has made elder abuse awareness and prevention a top priority. We have enacted landmark legislation to recognize elder abuse in the Criminal Code of Canada.

Local organizations, like the Peel Elder Abuse Prevention Network in my community, supported by a new horizons for seniors grant, are making a difference and hosting a seniors healthy living expo tomorrow in Mississauga.

We must all work together to prevent the financial, physical, and psychological abuse of the women and men who have built this country and deserve to live their lives in dignity and respect. I encourage all Canadians to go to seniors.gc.ca to learn more.

Roderick MacdonaldStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, McGill law professor Roderick Macdonald passed away on June 13 after battling cancer. We have lost one of our greatest scholars and most passionate humanitarians.

Roderick Macdonald was the first president of the Law Commission of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and the president of the Royal Society of Canada. He distinguished himself as a generous teacher revered by his students, a visionary dean of McGill's Faculty of Law, a staunch defender of justice, a world-renowned academic and the author of public reports that have transformed a number of areas of law.

As his McGill colleague Richard Janda put it, Rod's most wonderful gift to others was the “myriad ways he enabled others to become their better selves”.

Rod filled the room while allowing others to fill it too. He was a force of nature who was on earth to nurture others. UBC law professor Joel Bakan captures Rod perfectly when he writes that Rod was, “A remarkable human being—heart, soul, and intellect beautifully in synch”. He will be sorely missed.

Yad VashemStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2013 marked the 60th anniversary of Yad Vashem, Israel's official living memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and the world centre for documentation, research, education, and commemoration of the Holocaust. To recognize this notable occasion, Yad Vashem is leading an international mission through Poland and Israel to educate participants on the horrors Jews faced at the hands of German Nazis during the Holocaust. We are proud to have our Minister for Multiculturalism participating in part of this mission on behalf of all Canadians.

Today and every day we must never forget. We must realize how pernicious anti-Semitism is, and continue to be vigilant against anti-Semitism in all its insidious forms.

World Elder Abuse Awareness DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day on which we bring attention to this very serious problem that often goes ignored.

Elder abuse can take many forms, from physical and emotional harm to financial abuse. It can be perpetrated by those closest to us, family members or trusted caregivers. Sadly, victims are often ashamed and afraid to report the abuse to the proper authorities, allowing the cycle of abuse to continue unabated. The goal of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is to bring an end to this cycle of silence and shine a light on an issue that lingers in darkness.

We all have a role in recognizing and preventing elder abuse and empowering victims to speak out and seek assistance. We must work together to recognize and celebrate the valuable role our seniors play in our communities and to ensure that they enjoy their lives free from abuse and exploitation.

Immigration and CitizenshipStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend the radical leftist group No One is Illegal held a small protest to call for the end of detention for illegal immigrants. Even though Canada generously accepts 250,000 legal immigrants every year, these radicals would prefer to let those who abuse the generosity of Canadians roam our streets.

This is the same group who has said on repeated occasions that they do not believe that the Canadian state is a legitimate entity. It is shocking to see the President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers say that “The labour movement is united behind...an end to...[immigration] detentions”.

The left-wing ideology of big union bosses knows no end when they tie themselves to the illegal immigrants who often take jobs away from hard-working, law-abiding members.

Our Conservative government makes no apologies for the fact that we have removed more than 115,000 illegal immigrants since 2006.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have devoted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in an attempt to rebrand Canadian history in their own image. The Conservatives have failed. A government public opinion survey shows that Canadians regard some of the Prime Minister's least favourite people as the greatest Canadian heroes, people like Tommy Douglas, the father of medicare, of the NDP, and Jack Layton, a tireless worker on behalf of ordinary Canadians and the most proud New Democrat.

The minister responded by saying Canadians don't regard Tommy Douglas as a New Democrat.

What are Canada's greatest accomplishments as selected by Canadians? Medicare, peacekeeping, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, things consistently undermined and under attack by the Prime Minister.

Instead of spending millions trying to convince Canadians to adopt Conservative values, the government should heed the message of Canadians like Tommy Douglas and Jack Layton, proud New Democrats who truly embody great Canadian values.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP insists that it will not pay back money that it misspent to send out inappropriate and partisan mail-outs. This is unacceptable to us and the taxpayers. The rules have always been clear. It is not acceptable to use House of Commons resources to fund party offices or send party mail-outs.

Last week, the all-party Board of Internal Economy received and accepted the non-partisan House official's recommendations, showing that the total cost of the NDP's partisan mail-outs was $1.17 million. Of that, $36,000 is owed to the House and $1.13 million is associated with the use of franking privileges through Canada Post.

The verdict is clear. The NDP broke the rules, and Canadians now expect that it will pay it back. Should the NDP continue its campaign to evade accountability, we fully support House administration and Canada Post taking every step necessary to recoup every penny for Canadian taxpayers.

We say, “Pay it back”.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, six months ago, New Democrats put forward a motion calling upon the government to immediately address “the mental health crisis facing Canadian soldiers and veterans”. Conservatives defeated that motion. Now we learn that the Conservative government actually ignored advice from the military's director of special inquiries on how to improve investigations of suicides in order to learn how to avoid even more.

How can the Prime Minister possibly justify such alarming and unconscionable neglect of the mental health of our soldiers and veterans?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are doing no such thing. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with the families who are dealing with this loss.

Last year, I asked the military to account for delays in some cases, because these delays were preventing families from getting the closure they need and deserve. Since then, the Chief of the Defence Staff has taken action to clear up the backlog of cases. As a matter of fact, more than 80% of them have been cleared up. There are fewer than 10 outstanding.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, here are the real numbers. For the past two years, the Department of National Defence has been grappling with a serious delay in investigations into the suicides of 75 of our soldiers. These investigations could uncover vital information about the causes and warning signs of suicide. This would prevent future suicides.

The Conservatives are showing reckless negligence. Why did they not follow the director's recommendations? How can they justify disregarding the tools that would prevent more suicides? How can they do that?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is completely wrong. The Chief of the Defence Staff has taken action to clear up the backlog in cases. As a matter of fact, more than 80% of them have been cleared up, from 54 to fewer than 10. I am encouraged by this progress, and so should he be.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just named a Federal Court judge to the Quebec Court of Appeal in what seems to be an obvious attempt to get around the rules for appointing Quebec judges to the Supreme Court. That newest appointment is now being challenged by Rocco Galati, the same lawyer who had the Nadon appointment thrown out.

Why is the Prime Minister once again trying to get around the rules? Why is he defying both the letter and the spirit of the Nadon decision?

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our government is always guided by the principles of merit and legal excellence in the selection and appointment of judges to the Canadian courts. Justice Mainville is an expert in public-sector law negotiations, and in administrative, constitutional, energy and environmental law. He also lectured at McGill. He is the author of a university textbook on aboriginal law. This shows that he has considerable expertise.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I think he is reading from his notes from Nadon.

Let us be clear. The Conservatives are trying to use the Quebec Court of Appeal as a springboard for circumventing the rules for Supreme Court appointments. After dishonouring the Supreme Court, they are now preparing to stand in the way of the good work that is done by the highest court in Quebec. This is becoming a worrisome habit of the Conservatives. Why did they openly defy the Supreme Court's decision in the unfortunate Nadon affair?

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it appears the Leader of the Opposition is reading from one of his illegal handouts that came from one of his illegal offices.

As I said in French, our government is guided by merit and legal excellence. Mr. Mainville is an expert in public sector law negotiations, administrative law, and constitutional law. He lectured at McGill. He has been a member of the Quebec bar for 33 years and sat as a Federal Court judge for five years.

I believe his wealth of legal knowledge will be welcome at the Supreme Court and will be of significant benefit to the Quebec Court of Appeal.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that the Conservatives have tried to use trickery when appointing judges. After having been reprimanded and contradicted by the Supreme Court, they did the only thing they know how to do, and that is to publicly attack the chief justice. Now, they are violating the Supreme Court's ruling by failing to abide by the Constitution of Canada when appointing Quebec judges to the Supreme Court. Why is the Prime Minister once again attacking the highest court in our country? Why do the Conservatives want to undermine the integrity of the Supreme Court?

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are not attacking anyone. We made a decision based on merit and legal excellence.

These appointments are vetted. These appointments come on application from individuals. The intention is always to have the best minds, those with the best ability, sitting in Quebec, as in all the superior courts of our country, and that includes the Supreme Court of Canada.

It is unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition chooses to constantly try to politicize these issues.