House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.


Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

1:45 p.m.


Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I especially welcome my colleague back again to the great village of St. Jacobs.

The biggest difference between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party as it relates to agriculture is that in the Conservative Party we believe farmers want to farm the land, not the mailbox.

For so many years, farmers were dependent on subsidies, top-ups and all of those kinds of programs. We invested in scientific research so farmers could produce high quality food using less pesticides, increasing their yield and providing traceability programs so if and when an unfortunate incident occurred, we could quickly address those problems.

The farmers I speak to in my area are thrilled with the investments we have made in helping farmers do their job better. They have no interest in continuing to rely on government subsidies. However, I am more than willing to work with the party opposite in improving the lives and the viability of our family farms.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

1:45 p.m.


Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. member that the funds, the money that is given to government in taxes, are intended for national programs, not politicians. One of our most precious national programs is health care.

With that in mind, today we have the pleasure of hosting representatives of the Canadian Health Coalition, and they have with some asks for the new government.

First, they would like to see a new 10-year agreement between federal government and provinces in regard to stable funding for health care. They would also like to ensure we have a national drug policy strategy, a national strategy for the care of seniors, and a 25% contribution from the federal government for health care.

Would my colleague support those asks?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

1:50 p.m.


Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, for a minute I thought my colleague had forgotten that I was not part of the government right now.

However, I am proud of the investments and the initiatives that our government took on the health file. There have been many misstatements and misinformation made over the last number of years in terms of so-called health cuts. Our government increased funding to provinces at 6% per year. That certainly is not a cut.

We also committed to continue to invest going forward. I am happy to do anything we can to advance the health care of Canadians.

If members examine my record, they will see that over the last number of years I have worked hard on issues such as mental health initiatives, suicide prevention and palliative care. I certainly plan to continue those efforts as we go forward.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

1:50 p.m.


Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague from Kitchener—Conestoga on his re-election.

Further to the member opposite talking about agriculture, I come from a very agriculture-minded riding. Certainly agriculture is a very high priority for me and the folks back home who supported me and want me to represent them here.

What kinds of of things would the member have liked to have seen in the throne speech? What kinds of things were missing? Agriculture should have been mentioned in it. I would like to give him an opportunity to expand on that.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

1:50 p.m.


Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, in fact I did touch on this during the speech, urging the Liberal government to be more aggressive in pursuing new markets, for example.

I cannot tell members the difference it makes, having the proposition of the Canada–EU free trade agreement, the Canada–Korea free trade agreement, and the TPP when it comes to exporting agricultural products like pork and beef and the high tariffs that are currently on those products. That is the kind of fight we need to see from the Liberal government in standing up for our farmers to have access new markets.

When it comes to scientific research, I alluded to this earlier in response to my colleague across the way. We have to give farmers the research tools to help them develop a higher quality of their product, whether it is livestock or field crops. Our government did that. Many of our farmers are contacting me to let me know that they have been happy with this initiative rather than having them rely on government subsidies and top-ups that are not helpful in the long run.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

1:50 p.m.


Alice Wong Conservative Richmond Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the voters from the Richmond Centre electoral district, who have once again placed their trust in me to be their representative. This is the third time that I have been fortunate to be elected and it is always a privilege to speak on behalf of my constituents, previously for the Richmond electoral district and today for Richmond Centre.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my supporters and volunteers in Richmond and, most important, my husband Enoch. His encouragement, support, and sacrifice have made my endeavours in Ottawa possible.

At around 8 p.m. on election day, one of the major television networks declared my defeat and, hence, my early retirement. It took another couple of hours for Elections Canada to count the rest of the ballots and, fortunately, I am here today to talk about it.

That very evening, one of my constituents sent me a line by a famous author, Mark Twain. It states, “...the report of my death was an exaggeration...”. Here I am today to tell my constituents that I will be holding the Liberal government to account as part of Her Majesty's loyal opposition.

I would like to comment on the throne speech and discuss some of the issues I have heard in my conversations with many of my constituents from Richmond Centre.

I have been assigned the role of critic for small business. In the Richmond Centre electoral district, small businesses are a huge engine of job creation. Whether it is in top in the world restaurants, tourism, or import and export businesses, my riding is full of people who are either owners or employees of such businesses.

International trade, especially with Pacific Rim countries, is of major economic concern to my constituents because they are right in the Pacific gateway of the nation. This is why proceeding with the trans-Pacific partnership, the TPP, and continuing to implement free trade agreements is economically beneficial. Of note was the free trade agreement that our Conservative government signed with South Korea, which will stimulate economic activity for both countries and will create jobs in the Vancouver area and across Canada.

Equally important is maintaining a low-tax burden for small businesses. The Conservative government, through Bill C-59 in the last Parliament, reduced the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%, to be phased in over the next four years. I call on the new Liberal government to maintain this prudent measure, which will strengthen the job-creating small business sector.

Let us now look at the throne speech again to see if it talked about business. How many times did we see the word “business” in the throne speech? None; zero. How many times did we see the word “employment” in the throne speech? Only once, in reference to the employment insurance system, when people receive benefits for not working, whether through losing their jobs, sickness benefits, or maternity leave.

Speaking of employment insurance, we will also be watching very carefully the impact of increased payroll taxes on small businesses, which create jobs. Increased payroll taxes represent a real cost to businesses. Lower costs will create an environment for more jobs.

The throne speech does not mention how the private sector will be supported, whether with lower taxes, a reduction in red tape, training, or other measures that will encourage job creation and economic activity.

Indeed, it is disturbing to see the government going in the exact opposite direction, where a large government will be causing large deficits, large deficits will accumulate large debts, and large debts will increase the interest and expenses the government will have to pay. We all know who pays the government's bills. It is the taxpayer who will be paying for these upcoming Liberal deficits. This upsets a lot of people.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

1:55 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, please. The hon. member for Richmond Centre will have four and a half minutes when the House next resumes business on this particular question.

We will now go to statements by members.

The hon. member for Scarborough Centre.

Project EngagementStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the great work being done in Scarborough Centre and across Toronto by Project Engagement. Project Engagement is a volunteer-based, not for profit organization founded in 2004 by a local city councillor, Michael Thompson, and businessman, Vincent Gasparro. Their goal was to create an organization that could provide food, clothing, and other household necessities to families in need in Scarborough and across Toronto.

I am pleased to say that they have succeeded in making a real difference. This past Christmas, I was pleased to join more than 600 community volunteers preparing food hampers to help ensure more than 400 families had a better Christmas, including a warm meal and toys for the children.

Project Engagement is making a real difference in the lives of families in need. We need more projects like this across Canada.

Barrie—InnisfilStatements By Members

2 p.m.


John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mr. Bruce MacGregor. Bruce is the past president of our local Conservative EDA, and after an unprecedented five terms at the helm of our local riding association, Bruce turned over the reins to Mrs. Anne Kell at our AGM held over the weekend.

Bruce has been a proud resident of Barrie for 45 years. His dedication to the EDA is only surpassed by his unwavering commitment to the greater Conservative movement.

Barrie—Innisfil can be very proud of Bruce's service to the community. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts and wish him all the best in the future. I know I speak for all members of this House when I say how important our volunteers are to our success. It is their passion, energy, and sacrifice that allow us all to serve. We could not do it without them.

I wish to thank Bruce MacGregor and his wife, Pat, as well.

Charlie KeaganStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as we mourn the loss of Charlie Keagan. Mr. Keagan served as a councillor for the town of North Sydney in the Cape Breton regional municipality. He was also a school board representative.

Besides being an elected official and working for Marine Atlantic for 35 years, he devoted much of his time to helping many volunteer groups throughout the community. One of his crowning achievements was the work he did on revitalizing Indian Beach.

Last Saturday, my wife, Pam, and I attended a very touching funeral at St. Joseph's Church. Reverend Patrick O'Neil gave a wonderful service and over 300 people attended. Former Premier Russell MacLellan along with representatives from three levels of government were also in attendance. The Knights of Columbus and the Royal Canadian Legion, both of which Charlie was a member of, acted as an honour guard at his funeral.

I ask all members to join me in showing our appreciation for Charlie's many contributions to our community.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, a recent study by Oxfam showed that 62 of the world's richest billionaires have as much wealth as half of the world's population. Evidence of the gap between the rich and rest of us continues to grow. Income and wealth inequality is one of the biggest challenges of our time.

Instead of tackling this challenge head on, the Liberal government is making it worse. Last week's PBO report revealed that most Canadians would not benefit at all from the Liberals' so-called middle-class tax cut.

In fact, the report confirmed that the Liberals' plan would benefit the top 30% and the richest 10% are getting the most. Like the Conservatives before them, the Liberals are increasing economic inequality.

In my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, constituents are feeling the financial pain of exorbitant housing costs, expensive child care, prescription drugs, and groceries. Many are struggling just to pay the bills. We in the NDP will continue to work with civil society, business, labour, community groups, and individual Canadians to advance a fairer and more prosperous Canada for all Canadian families, not just the richest few.

Crime StoppersStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to recognize the month of January as Crime Stoppers Month.

Since first being implemented in the great city of Calgary in 1982, the Crime Stoppers program has become an invaluable crime prevention tool in over 90 communities across Canada. This program is a unique partnership between the public, the local media, and police to fulfill our shared responsibility to maintain public safety, reduce crime, and prevent victimization.

Since its inception, Crime Stoppers has helped solve over 300,000 cases and resulted in the recovery of over $500 million of contraband property, but its greatest contribution is in the prevention of crime.

Fear is the greatest enemy of public safety, and by empowering our citizens to provide information to the police anonymously and safely, Crime Stoppers discourages criminals who rely on fear and intimidation to victimize others.

Crime Stoppers Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of this important program and to express our admiration and gratitude to the many staff and volunteers who assist our dedicated police services in keeping Canada safe.

Natural ResourcesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is great to be back in the House after a busy two weeks in my riding of Cariboo—Prince George.

Today I have the honour of welcoming to the House two regional leaders: Sherry Ogasawara and Tracy Calogheros.

While the Prime Minister was busy taking selfies with movie stars, I and three of my colleagues attended the B.C. premier's natural resource forum, one of the largest forums of its kind in Canada.

The forum was held in Prince George, B.C. The event was attended by over 900 leading industry professionals, provincial and municipal representatives, and indigenous leaders.

The government's absence and silence was heard loud and clear. I am greatly disappointed that not one member of the Liberal Party was present, not even the member opposite, the Minister of Natural Resources.

This is the very minister who just yesterday stood up in the House and said he was meeting with industry leaders and yet declined the invitation to attend one of the largest natural resources events in the country.

Therefore, I offer this to my colleague. While he may want us to be known for--

Natural ResourcesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The member for Avalon.

Emergency ServicesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, today I stand to recognize a special person who has spent the last 40 years providing emergency services to a rural area in my riding.

At the age of 78, Ms. Rita Pennell of Trepassey has just retired. She was a pillar of strength to those requiring emergency services, and many took comfort knowing that Ms. Pennell was either driving them to the hospital or carefully attending their needs.

Just recently, I had the privilege of visiting with Ms. Pennell at her home and listen to her many interesting stories. It became obvious that she cared for every patient as if they were her family. She was determined and made sure that anyone needing care got it. If a snowstorm was getting in her way, she had the cabinet minister's personal phone number and used it to make sure the roads were cleared.

Ms. Pennell was recently recognized by the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador for her efforts. While she retired as an EMS, she remains a very active volunteer in her community and works hard to make Trepassey a great place to live.

I ask all members to join me in thanking Ms. Pennell.

Legion of HonourStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to advise the House that a 92-year-old resident of Oakville, Edward James Kersey, has been awarded France's highest order, the rank of Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.

Reverend Kersey joined the Canadian Army on January 24, 1943. He came ashore at Juno Beach on July 10, 1944, and fought in battles through France, Belgium and Holland. He was with his unit in Oldenburg, Germany when the war ended. His efforts and personal bravery helped to ensure that today Canada and France are democratic and free societies.

This award attests to his courage and devotion to the ideals of liberty and peace. For this, we all owe Reverend Kersey a great debt of gratitude.

As a Knight of the Legion of Honour, he joins an international order that has been instrumental in creating a stronger, fairer and more just world.

I wish to thank and congratulate Reverend Kersey.

Port of QuébecStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, since it was founded, Quebec City has had a port that plays a vital role in its economic prosperity. The word “Quebec” means “where the river narrows”, and that is even truer today because the port of Québec is the last inland port that can accommodate offshore vessels.

According to KPMG, the Beauport 2020 plan, which was announced in 2015 by Quebec City port authorities and supported by the previous Conservative government with $60 million, will allow the port of Québec to remain internationally competitive while creating nearly 3,000 new jobs in the region. It is important to note that expansion and revitalization of the port facilities are necessary to ensure the port's long-term viability.

Finally, a large part of this port is located in my riding, Beauport—Limoilou. I therefore encourage the current government to support the work being done by the Port of Québec, particularly when it comes to this particular project. It is part of a vision for the future for Beauport—Limoilou, Quebec, and Canada.

Mikaël KingsburyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a top Canadian Olympian from Deux-Montagnes, in my riding.

Last week in Val Saint-Côme, Quebec, moguls skier Mikaël Kingsbury set an all-time record when he claimed his 30th World Cup win. At 23, Mr. Kingsbury is no stranger to victory, having won a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics and four Crystal Globes in moguls.

I want to take this opportunity to commend you, Mr. Kingsbury, on your hard work and perseverance. You are an inspiration and an example of courage and success for young athletes across the country. Let us celebrate our Canadian athletes.

Congratulations, Mr. Kingsbury.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Monday the second Canadian infrastructure report card was released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and partners. What that report card tells us is sobering—that fully one-third of all municipal infrastructure in Canada is in fair, poor, or very poor condition, and that figure includes much-needed transit assets.

Transit represents a significant investment for all Canadians, and we need to ensure that we allocate appropriate spending to keep Canadians moving. This is a particularly relevant issue in my region, which is in B.C.'s lower mainland, as we will be welcoming an estimated one million new residents and 600,000 new jobs by 2040. Investments in public transit not only help get people to their destinations quickly and efficiently but also support a competitive economy, a clean environment, and a higher quality of life.

I encourage all members of this House to work with other levels of government in Canada to invest in much-needed transit infrastructure, including the expansion of light rail transit to my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, almost two years ago the Russian Federation illegally invaded, occupied, and annexed the internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea. The Putin regime executed the military takeover response to the Euromaidan protest by the Ukrainian people against their pro-Russian leader Victor Yanukovych. The placement of armed forces in the sovereign territory of another nation is a clear violation of international norms and laws.

The previous Conservative government was a world leader in providing economic, military, and diplomatic assistance to our Ukrainian allies.

We have made it extremely clear that, whether it takes five months or 50 years, Canada will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Today, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said:

We have nothing to give.... We are not holding any talks with anyone on returning Crimea.

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister wants to reward the Russian Federation by normalizing relations while the Russian regime is supplying arms and troops in the Donbass conflict in eastern Ukraine.

I am calling upon the government to maintain all sanctions against the Russian Federation and the individuals responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of the Donbass.

Mylène PaquetteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2013, Mylène Paquette, who is from the riding of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, became the first person to row solo across the North Atlantic Ocean from Canada to France.

Her remarkable courage and perseverance during her difficult voyage inspired other people to overcome their fears and obstacles and embrace physical activity. She became a source of pride and inspiration to many in Canada and abroad. In December, she was honoured by the Governor General of Canada.

As her MP, I congratulate Ms. Paquette, a great citizen of Verdun, Quebec, and Canada, and I invite the House of Commons to recognize her accomplishment.

Supply ManagementStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to remind the Liberal government of the importance of protecting our supply management system, particularly as it relates to the problem of milk protein coming across our borders.

As the House is well aware, we in the NDP remain firmly committed to working with farmers in order to resolve the problem of milk protein being imported from the United States, and to do so within the first 100 days. I remind the House that the Liberals also promised to take action on this.

Tomorrow will be the 100th day of the new government, and our farmers all across the country are still waiting for concrete action from the government. I hope farmers will not have to wait another 100 days. Farmers in my riding and all across the country are worried and anxious. A medium-sized farm is losing $1,000 a week. That is completely unacceptable.

Considering all the uncertainty our farmers are experiencing because of the TPP, I call on the government to take action immediately on the milk protein issue.

Shooting at La LocheStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Tom Lukiwski Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend my personal condolences to the people of La Loche. The recent tragedy has broken the hearts of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

As parents and family members, we can all easily identify with the horror and the grief of this tragedy. I think it also breaks our hearts because we all know that life in isolated northern communities can be challenging but that, unfortunately, generations of politicians have ignored the depth of those challenges.

I would like the people of La Loche, all of those touched by this tragedy, to know that all of us in this House are keeping them in our hearts and in our prayers. Indeed, the entire nation is doing so.

May God bless the people of La Loche.

EmploymentStatements By Members

January 26th, 2016 / 2:15 p.m.


Alaina Lockhart Liberal Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week, the greater community of Sussex, New Brunswick, my hometown, was devastated to learn that 430 mining jobs in the community would be lost due to market prices and production costs.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan will be suspending the potash mining operations indefinitely at the Picadilly mining site.

The people in Sussex have been quick to show an attitude of strength and resilience. There is a confidence and sense of hope in the value of our natural resources, the strength of our municipalities, and the tremendous skills and work ethic of our workforce.

As the member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, I am committed to supporting these workers and their families, as well as the local businesses that have been impacted.

Now, more than ever, this government's infrastructure investments will be important to provide immediate work and also to ensure that we are prepared to take advantage of future private investments that will create long-term jobs.

Every local success story that this government can support will add stability to the community and help us to retain the workforce we need for prosperity in New Brunswick.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta


Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Prime Minister for taking my advice and meeting with Mr. Coderre. This is an issue about the national economy, and it is about jobs for all Canadians.

There are actually other projects, though, that can create jobs. For example, if the Liberals would allow the expansion of the Toronto Island airport runway, Bombardier would have a big new customer for its made-in-Canada C series jets, and it would not cost a cent. Why is the Prime Minister standing in the way of aerospace jobs?