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House of Commons Hansard #164 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was csis.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem, led by the hon. member for Wetaskiwin.

[Members sang the national anthem]

David WynnStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Independent

Brent Rathgeber Independent Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, St. Albert said goodbye to one of its finest heroes. RCMP Constable David Wynn was laid to rest following a full regimental funeral attended by 6,000 grateful mourners.

Constable Wynn and Auxillary Constable Derek Bond had been shot nine days earlier in the line of duty and are both to be saluted for their bravery.

Some 2,100 first responders from across North America honoured their fallen colleague and thousands of St. Albertans lined the procession route wearing white ribbons and waving Canadian flags in a show of community respect and solidarity.

The entire city of St. Albert has come together to show support for both the Wynn and the RCMP families; 15,000 white ribbons adorned porch lights, lampposts and trees throughout our city.

I would like the family of Constable Wynn, wife Shelly, sons Matthew, Nathan and Alex, and also Auxillary Constable Bond, who is recovering from serious injuries, to know that they are in our collective thoughts and in our prayers.

A grateful nation salutes Constable Wynn for his sacrifice and thanks him for his service to his community and to his country.

Rest in peace, Constable Wynn.

Hearthstone Community CampaignStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, a fundraising effort that started in 2011 to raise $8 million for a new regional nursing home in Estevan, Saskatchewan reached its goal two years ahead of schedule.

On January 12, 2015, Campaign Chair of the Hearthstone Community Campaign Vern Buck made the announcement that a new nursing home in Estevan was no longer a matter of “if” but “when”, as the required $8 million had been raised prior to Christmas 2014. There were numerous acts of generosity that raised the funds, such as cutting grass, quilt sales, a car auction and the harvesting of two quarter sections of canola.

Campaign Chair Vern Buck stated, “The generous people of Estevan and surrounding area should congratulate themselves for reaching the fundraising goal so quickly. It reflects the urgency and the need of a new facility for elders in our community”.

To all of the volunteers and members of the community who donated time and money for this project and to Campaign Chair Vern Buck, congratulations on a job well done on the outstanding effort of reaching the goal in such a quick fashion.

Quebec Winter CarnivalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to invite you and all Canadians to Quebec City's 61st winter carnival, which will take place from January 30 to February 15. The carnival president is Isabelle Hurtevent. Last year, 520,000 people attended. This year, there are 200 activities on the program and 1,200 volunteers on board.

Come join the party with your arrow sash, your effigy or your trumpet. Come see the night parades, the ice palace, the snow bath, the canoe race and the snow sculptures.

Do not miss the dogsledding, the peewee hockey tournament, the Hockey Canada century tour, snow golf and festive streets such as du Campanile and Maguire.

Lastly, I would like to wish the duchess of Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge, Marie-Andrée Boucher, good luck on the evening of the coronation.

Come join the fun at the world's biggest winter carnival together with the king of the party, Bonhomme.

Enjoy the carnival, everyone.

North KoreaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we know, North Korea has one of the most brutal regimes on the planet, denying its own people the most basic rights and freedoms. Indeed, those who would dare question the totalitarian regime of Kim Jong-un, or even try to escape from it, are sent to concentration camps, many to die of torture or starvation. Amnesty International estimates there are 200,000 political prisoners in these camps.

This week, the Parliament of Canada will hear testimony from a high profile defector, Jang Jin-sung, who has documented many of the evils of the North Korean regime in his recent book Dear Leader.

However, Kim Jong-un is not content to oppress just his own people. His regime also threatens us with nuclear weapons and attacks our right to free speech as the recent Sony hack demonstrated.

Canada will not be intimidated. We will continue to criticize the cruelty of Kim Jong-un and call for an end to his regime.

Don HarronStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to the late Don Harron, an unforgettable Canadian actor, comedian, cartoonist and writer. He entertained generations of Canadians with his contagious passion and light heart.

Notably, Don performed as his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson, a folksy storyteller, poking fun at almost anything Canadian, often making politicians the target. He showed us the joy of laughing at ourselves.

As Charlie, he performed on Canadian radio, TV and a variety of shows like Hee Haw in the United States. His serious side had him hosting CBC's Morningside and in theatre acting on stages from London, England to Stratford, Ontario. His most celebrated work was helping to bring the Island classic Anne of Green Gables alive to the stage, having been performed for 50 consecutive years at the Charlottetown Festival.

As Charlie would say in his tattered sweater, “Hee-haw, on to the next chapter”.

On behalf of the House, I thank Don for his wit, his passion and his love for this country.

Joe RotmanStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada lost one of its truest supporters of arts and culture yesterday with the passing of Joe Rotman. A passionate supporter of the arts, he believed that it is our arts and our culture that define our identity as a country.

Rotman served as the chair of the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario and as a member of the board of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.

In 2008 Rotman was appointed chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, where he served with distinction until his death. As a major benefactor of the arts, he donated nearly $100 million to building a more vibrant art sector.

Throughout his life, Joe was guided by the belief instilled in him by his father that the most powerful way to inspire others is for them to see people giving back to their community.

Joe Rotman inspired us all with his generosity. He will be missed.

Jesse TaitStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we mourn the loss of Sgt. Jesse Tait of Sudbury. He was a father, husband, son and soldier, serving at CFB Shilo in Manitoba. All of northern Ontario and all Canadians stand with his family at this time of loss.

He joined the Canadian Forces in January 2002 and was posted to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. He served in Bosnia in 2003 and in Afghanistan in 2008 as a sniper. His family described him as ambitious, hard-working, a natural leader with a penchant for adventure, who loved nothing more than spending time with his two young boys,

This tragic death serves as another reminder of the commitment and service of our Canadian Forces. It also reminds us of the duty we have as members of the House of Commons to those who serve, to only place them in harm's way after careful consideration, and to be there for them when they return.

We shall not forget Sgt. Jesse Tait.

Derek WaltonStatements By Members

January 28th, 2015 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to a very dear friend who unfortunately lost his battle with ALS at age 70. Mr. Derek Walton was diagnosed with ALS in 2002 and had been a passionate advocate for neurological research and ALS ever since.

Although the average life expectancy for those who are diagnosed with ALS is two to five years, Derek quickly earned the nickname “Braveheart” for his continuous fight. He used his tremendous strength and courage to fight a terrible battle that too many Canadians are currently facing.

Derek's many efforts to raise money for ALS research included: launching The Walton Cure 4 ALS Fund at Sunnybrook Hospital, his annual skydiving events he called Jumping 4 PALS, organizing annual ALS walks, and helping spearhead the national neurological charity funding for the Canada brain research fund. His hard work helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for ALS research.

My thoughts and prayers are with Derek's family during this difficult time. His dedication to raising awareness and funds for ALS will forever be remembered.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about the stigma surrounding mental health and recent efforts to address it by Bell Canada and our government.

Today marks the 5th annual Bell Let's Talk Day. For every text, call, tweet and Facebook share of the campaign, Bell is donating 5¢ to a variety of Canadian mental health charities. In just four years, Bell has donated over $67 million. This is a significant achievement which will effect positive change.

Bell is not alone in its support of mental health initiatives. Our government has taken action and created the mental health commission and a national strategy for mental health and well-being.

We have invested significantly and seriously into mental health and neuroscience research in the past eight years, supporting organizations like the Canada brain research fund and its projects, and an additional $6 million for research into eating disorders since 2006.

Down in Niagara, Regional Chairman Al Caslin has assured me the regional government is also committed to delivering with us. Our government is focused on supporting initiatives that benefit the health of all Canadians, physically and mentally.

Affordable HousingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the work of members of the Fédération des coopératives d'habitation de Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, also known as FECHAQC.

Co-operative housing provides 27,000 Quebec households with decent, affordable housing. Co-operative housing is a modern, effective and humane solution to housing problems.

Unfortunately, for the past few years, the Conservative government has refused to reinvest in affordable housing. Next year, about 100,000 households will be affected by those cuts. By 2030, the federal housing budget will have been cut by 85%. That is right, 85%.

The NDP believes that everyone has a right to decent housing at a reasonable cost. A roof is a right.

That is why we are calling on the government to maintain the total amount of $1.7 billion a year currently invested in those agreements.

It is time to bring in a housing strategy, and I will be attending FECHAQC's annual general meeting this Saturday to talk about just that. Everyone is welcome.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, recent events have clearly demonstrated that the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and her allies. This week in B.C., the trial of accused terrorists John Nuttall and Amanda Korody will begin. Together they are accused of plotting to attack the B.C. legislature's Canada Day celebrations.

Our government believes these threats against Canadians are reprehensible. That is why we have taken concrete measures to end this threat. It is why we have committed the Canadian Armed Forces to the broad international coalition against the so-called Islamic state. No Canadian government should ever stand on the sidelines, while our allies act to deny terrorists a safe haven.

There is work to be done at home as well. We will put legislation before Parliament this Friday that will help authorities stop planned attacks, get threats off our streets, criminalize the promotion of terrorism, and prevent terrorists from travelling and recruiting others.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the days and months ahead, many important issues will be brought before this House. Canadians are concerned about the falling price of oil and what that means for our economy. They are troubled by climate change and the environment, falling income and rising debt. They are worried about health care and their pension, the loss of manufacturing jobs and that there is no federal minimum wage.

At the same time, let us not forget that we must include women in all our policies.

As the official opposition status of women critic for the NDP, I am committed to working hard for equality for all Canadian women.

We must end poverty among women. We need a plan for affordable, universal child care and we need a national action plan to end violence against women.

The NDP knows that when women are overlooked, all of Canada—its people and its economy—suffers.

Canadians can count on the NDP to stand up for women, now and when—

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville.

Manufacturing IndustryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government understands that manufacturing is a high-tech, high-skill economic engine for Canada. Manufacturing alone employs close to 1.7 million Canadians, including many in my riding of Mississauga—Streetsville.

However, the Liberal leader told Ontarians last week that he wanted to transition away from a manufacturing economy altogether. Since coming to power, our government has made Canada a low tax environment for Canadian manufacturers, eliminated tariffs on machinery and negotiated trade agreements that will expand market opportunities and create jobs.

Jayson Myers, President of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters said, “the programs the Conservative government has put in place...support manufacturing, and do it very well”.

The choice is clear. Our government is focused on establishing the right conditions for success: low taxes, global trade opportunities, investment policies and a skilled workforce.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in his or her lifetime. Currently, three million Canadians suffer from depression. Suicides account for 24% of deaths in 15 to 24 year olds, and the suicide rate is climbing among men who are 85 and over.

In 2011, all parties in the House voted to support a Liberal motion for a national suicide prevention strategy. In 2013, the Mental Health Commission of Canada made recommendations for mental health policies in the workplace. The government has failed to implement any of those policies.

Last week, the Mental Health Commission gave Canada a failing grade on 12 out of 13 indicators for mental health outcomes. Suicide rates are still above the G8 average, self-harm among students is growing, and workplace stress and anxiety is rising. Stigma still prevents many from seeking help.

I encourage all members to support the Bell Let's Talk campaign today. Each tweet will get a 5¢ donation from Bell.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the strong leadership of our Prime Minister, our government is on track to balance Canada's budget, and we are now in a position to help Canadian families balance theirs.

Our plan gives new money to 100% of families with children, and the vast majority of benefits go to low and middle-income families. With the enhancement of the universal child care benefit, moms and dads in Oxford, and across the country, will receive nearly $2,000 per year for every child under 6, and $720 per year for every child between the ages of 6 and 17.

The NDP and the Liberals want to take this money away and spend it on big government bureaucracy instead. Instead of giving decision-making power to parents, the NDP and the Liberals want Ottawa bureaucracy telling families what to do. That is not right.

Our government knows that parents know what is best for their kids, and we are proud to be the only party standing up for them.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an unfortunate reality that Canadians are now used to the Conservatives making policy decisions solely based on political self-interest. However, most Canadians would be saddened and surprised to see the Liberals take the same tack.

Just yesterday, Liberal MPs and officials talked about their approach to the impending Conservative anti-terror legislation. They do not want to be "outflanked" by the Conservatives, so they will support the government's new anti-terrorism bill without even reading it first.

Why would the Liberals give the Conservatives a free ride? Canadians want sound, evidence-based policy, not policies based on political expediency.

Liberals remind me of the old saying, “If you don't stand for something, you'll go for anything”.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is delivering an unprecedented package for benefits for hard-working families through out new tax breaks and family tax cut plan. The vast majority of these benefits will be to low and middle-income families. Together these initiatives will directly benefit 100% of the families with children in my riding of Winnipeg South Centre.

We are increasing and expanding the universal child care benefit for children under six. We have increased the child care expense deduction. We have doubled the children's fitness tax credit. We have expanded the universal child care benefit for children aged 6 to 17.

We are proud of our plan that is lowering taxes and providing benefits directly to families for them to reinvest in the Canadian economy. The last thing we should do is put our economy at risk with the high taxes and debt promised by the Liberals and the NDP.

Shame on the Liberals and the NDP for wanting to take these cuts away from families.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today, Statistics Canada announced that 65,000 fewer jobs than forecast were created in 2014.

In Quebec, the number of healthy young people who are looking for work and have had to turn to social assistance increased by 14.4% in 2014. That is scandalous. These are the worst results since the depths of the last recession.

Why is the Prime Minister doing nothing? When will he table a budget?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the opposite. Although Statistics Canada's methods and numbers change from time to time, the trend is clear.

The Canadian economy has created almost 1.2 million jobs since the depths of the recession. This is not the time to increase personal and corporate income taxes. This is not the time to run up large debts and deficits.

This is the time to lower taxes, as we are doing, and ensure that significant investments are made in the Canadian economy.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they are not numbers, they are human beings.

Canadians are looking for action. They are looking for help for the middle class. Instead, they are getting a Conservative tax proposal that fails middle-class families.

A new report out today shows that middle-class families will benefit the least from the Prime Minister's tax plan. They make enough so that their child care benefits will be taxed back, but not enough to benefit from the Prime Minister's income splitting scheme because it only for the richest.

When will the Prime Minister put forward a practical plan to help middle-class families? When will we see a budget?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, they are human beings, and there are 1.2 million more of them working now than there were. There are nearly 4.5 million households. That is over eight million adults who will be benefiting from the tax cuts and benefits brought in by this government. Those millions of Canadians will fight tooth and nail against every attempt by the NDP to raise the deficit, to raise taxes, and to kill jobs.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a report has confirmed that the Canadian Forces are now involved in combat, despite the Prime Minister's formal commitment last fall that our soldiers would not be on the front lines.

American troops are not painting targets for air strikes and are not authorized to accompany Iraqi troops to the front lines. These are the rules of engagement that the Prime Minister promised Canadians.

Why did he mislead Canadians?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is not true.

The truth is that the NDP leader and the entire opposition are opposed to military missions to advise and assist Iraqi forces in fighting jihadist terrorists.

It is true that our troops killed jihadist terrorists who fired on them. That is their mission. We are proud of our troops and we are behind them 100%.