House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was unions.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

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

[Members sang the national anthem]

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, pay equity is one of our primary concerns. This issue is especially important to me as a woman and as a union activist.

I was part of the struggle in Quebec's public sector for over 10 years. We succeeded. Women who quite rightly claimed that equal work deserved equal pay were vindicated.

It goes without saying that I really wish I could have participated in the committee debates. Unfortunately, for a party whose very name suggests the importance it ascribes to democracy, a party that calls itself the progressive opposition, it is a shame to see how malleable the principles of the NDP and its MPs are.

Like the rest of Canadians, the people of Quebec are entitled to full representation by their MPs, and that includes the one million people whom the Bloc Québécois represents.

Bay of QuinteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Neil Ellis Liberal Bay of Quinte, ON

Mr. Speaker, as this is my first opportunity to rise in the House, I want to thank my constituents from the new riding of Bay of Quinte for the trust and confidence they have placed in me.

My riding consists of the cities of Belleville, Quinte West, as well as Prince Edward County. It is a great honour to be the first MP to represent this riding.

I would like to congratulate all of my colleagues in this House for their victories. I encourage all members to come and explore the spectacular Bay of Quinte. It will not disappoint.

I also rise today to recognize the important work being done by Gleaners Food Bank and Tri-County Warehouse. This past weekend, I was pleased to attend their fundraiser which raised over $23,000. What began as a pilot project in 1986 now distributes food baskets to over 150 non-profit organizations. In 2015 alone they distributed almost 9,000 food hampers across the area.

I know that all members can appreciate the important roles organizations like this play in addressing food insecurity.

Screamin BrothersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the astounding achievement of two young men from my riding of Lethbridge, Alberta.

In the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, J.R., at the age of 10, and Dawson, at the age of 9, wanted to find a way to help their newly adopted brother who was stranded in an orphanage in Haiti. The solution was the creation of a company called Screamin Brothers ice cream, which is a frozen treat made from fair-trade ingredients. It is also dairy and gluten free.

With sales of over half a million this year and a national distribution agreement, these young men are proven entrepreneurs. They literally had the investors from Dragon's Den throwing money at them asking them to partner.

Five years later, these brothers continue to give 5% of their profits back to charity on an ongoing basis.

I would like to congratulate J.R. and Dawson for being nominated for the young entrepreneur award in the 2016 Alberta business awards of distinction.

These young men remind us that, regardless of age, with a huge dream and determination, anything is possible.

Coquitlam—Port CoquitlamStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak for the first time in this place as the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam. I would like to express my appreciation to all those who helped bring this about.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, Christine, for her unfaltering support for over a decade along this path, where the outcome was never certain and sometimes seemed very remote. I thank my daughters, Katherine and Sarah, for their own enormous and unfailing support, even going so far, so I am assured, as voting for me.

I thank the members of my riding association, a sometimes small but always hardy bunch, who helped keep the lights on all those years, and the campaign team, less small but equally hardy. As the campaign unfolded and we grew in number and determination, we also became a family. I thank them all for their friendship and their huge support.

The biggest thanks goes to my constituents who placed their trust in me. It will be my mission and honour to justify that trust.

Year of the MonkeyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish all Chinese Canadians and all those who celebrate the lunar new year, a happy new year of the monkey.

In Chinese tradition, the monkey represents good humour, resourcefulness and wit. These are also Canadian values. May this year of the monkey bring good health, peace, creativity, and opportunities for all.

I would like to wish all Canadians of Chinese origin, including my spouse Limei:

[Member spoke in Cantonese and Mandarin]

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation to Canadians of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean descent, as well as to all Canadians who celebrate the lunar new year, from my incredibly diverse riding of New Westminster—Burnaby to all of Canada.

I am thankful for their immense contributions and continuous efforts to make Canada better for us all.

[Member spoke in Mandarin]

Bethanys Hope FoundationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I rise to address the House for the first time, I must express my sincere gratitude to the residents of London North Centre. I am extremely humbled that they have entrusted me to be their member of Parliament.

In my riding, the Bethanys Hope Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This not for profit foundation was established by Dave and Lindey McIntyre in 1996 with the goal of finding a cure for metachromatic leukodystrophy, or MLD. This disease usually leads to early death in children.

The McIntyre's lost their little girl Bethany to MLD in 2000 at the age of 7.

To date, Bethanys Hope Foundation has invested $4 million into its cutting edge research program in London, Ontario, under the guidance of Dr. Tony Rupar. I commend this organization for giving hope to those battling with the devastation of MLD.

I encourage all of my colleagues in the House to congratulate the Bethanys Hope Foundation on 20 years of fighting for those suffering at the hands of this terrible disease.

Informal CaregiversStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to everyone who chooses to be an informal caregiver to a family member, friend or neighbour who is living with a disability associated with aging, an accident, or illness.

Every day, these caring people give so generously of their time, taking on responsibilities that include everything from helping around the house to providing physical care and medical care, and, in most cases, being a source of moral and physical support.

Every year, for the past 25 years now, informal caregivers' groups and organizations in Lévis—Lotbinière have been helping one another and taking turns in this noble cause of serving others.

Considering the degree of personal commitment that these roles often require, all informal caregivers must be mindful of their own limits and be sure to also take care of their own needs, because no one is immune to burnout.

I say bravo to them all. They are a source of steadfast support and inspiration.

Saint Valentine's FestivalStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Rioux Liberal Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, the municipality of Saint-Valentin is hosting its 22nd annual Saint Valentine's Festival. I congratulate the town on its creativity and hard work, as well as the volunteers for making Saint-Valentin the capital of love.

Every year, more than 1,200 people take advantage of the special postmark used at the Saint-Valentin post office. I invite my colleagues to take this opportunity to express their love to their special valentine.

We must continue to recognize and support the work that our rural communities do to promote these tourist destinations and their local products.

Avis de Recherche Television ChannelStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Nicola Di Iorio Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleagues to acknowledge the exceptional contribution made by the Avis de recherche television channel.

This public channel is dedicated to the search for suspects and people who have disappeared, as well as crime prevention. Avis de recherche supports the work of our police forces every day.

In 2013, the RCMP revealed that more than one-third of the people unlawfully at large had been apprehended thanks to the bulletins broadcast by Avis de recherche. Police forces across the country have underscored the valuable partnership they have with Avis de recherche.

The Sûreté du Québec, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Missing Children's Network and Quebec Native Women have all praised this channel.

I invite all my colleagues to show their support for Avis de recherche so that it can continue to help police forces and all Canadians for many years to come.

Republic of the Union of MyanmarStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, on February 1, I attended independence day celebrations of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Our Conservative government was at the forefront in pushing for democratic reforms.

I visited Myanmar twice, first as an international election observer representing Canada, then I led an all party delegation to support Canada's contribution to advance democracy.

Former foreign affairs minister Hon. John Baird also visited Myanmar, where he conferred honorary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi. Therefore, it was heartening to see this honorary Canadian citizen enter Myanmar's parliament as its leader, following its historic election.

Much work still needs to be done. Myanmar's constitution is military drafted and many powers continue to be retained by the military.

We extend to Aung San Suu Kyi and her government our best wishes, as she continues to bring full democracy to Myanmar.

Centre Block Fire of 1916Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, exactly 100 years ago today, on February 3, 1916, a fire broke out in the reading room here in the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings. The fire destroyed the entire building, with the exception of the library, and claimed seven lives, including those of the member for Yarmouth, Bowman Brown Law and the assistant clerk of the House of Commons, Jean-Baptiste René Laplante, a member of the Quebec bar who served in the House from 1897 until the day of the fatal accident. Florence Bray, Mabel Morin, Randolph Fanning, Constable Alphonse Desjardins, and his uncle, who shared the same name, also died in the blaze.

Today, some of the descendants of Mr. Laplante, Messrs. Desjardins, and some of the other victims are here in to Ottawa to mark the 100th anniversary of this tragedy.

Today, in commemoration of the disaster, we are using the wooden mace that served as a temporary replacement for the original mace, which was destroyed in the fire.

World Interfaith Harmony WeekStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the week of February 1 to 7 is World Interfaith Harmony Week, or WIHW, as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2010. The aim of WIHW is to promote harmony between peoples of all faiths.

Last year, WIHW Toronto placed third in the world out of over 900 international organizations for its programs and outreach. I would like to pay particular tribute to the founding and steering committee members, such as John Voorpostel, Khadijah Kanji, Sid Ikeda, Paul McKenna and Michelle Singh, for the tremendous amount of work they have done in promoting the message of peace and harmony. Through their efforts and outreach, WIHW activities for 2016 have grown across Canada.

Mayor John Tory has proclaimed the first week of February as World Interfaith Harmony Week in Toronto.

Love of God and love of thy neighbour is the motto of WIHW, and I hope we all embrace it.

Suicide Prevention WeekStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind the House that this week is the 26th annual Suicide Prevention Week in Quebec. This year's theme is, “You're important to us. Suicide is not an option.”

As we all know, life goes by so fast, and we sometimes forget to pay attention to those around us. No one is immune from suffering, and listening to others plays a key role in suicide prevention.

Every day, three people in Quebec and 10 people in Canada take their own life. Not only do families, friends, and colleagues suffer, but the whole community is also affected by these deaths.

Unfortunately, we too often experience this tragedy alone, in silence. Suicide Prevention Week is a good opportunity to talk about this issue and to share resources. I encourage all members to get involved in their communities and to promote awareness among their family members, loved ones, colleagues, and their constituents.

Together we can make a difference.

Centre Block Fire of 1916Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago today our Parliament was forever changed as a massive fire engulfed Centre Block, destroying everything, save for the Library.

Despite the efforts of Ottawa firefighters, security, soldiers, and staff, the blaze raged through the night. By morning, Florence Bray, Mabel Morin, Constable Alphonse Desjardins, Steamfitter Alphonse Desjardins, Randolph Fanning, Assistant Clerk René Laplante, and Bowman Law, the MP for Yarmouth, had lost their lives.

Undeterred, though, and in true Canadian fashion, Parliament resumed the next day with a promise to rebuild. Indeed, the MPs refused to yield to this tragedy.

Today, we remember those who perished on that fateful night 100 years ago, and we recognize the determination and spirit of those who picked up the pieces and rebuilt this great symbol of our democracy.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, just a few weeks ago, a group from the Windsor and Essex region, including Terry Weymouth, Nour Fawaz, and Dan Brown, produced a short video encouraging more women to pursue work in fields that were greatly under-represented by women, such as trades.

Entitled “Because It's 2016”, it was released on YouTube and has since enjoyed over 14,000 views. The video shows bright, enthusiastic, capable women in jobs such as firefighting, policing, welding, plumbing, engineering, scientific research, computer programming, and manufacturing.

I urge all members in the House to find ways to encourage women in their communities. Together we must challenge sexism and traditionalism, and push for equal opportunities for girls and women to pursue any career path they choose. As a country, we do ourselves a disservice to continue to label careers with gender.

I ask my colleagues to stand with me to continue the fight for equity, and to never stop forging the way forward so all women can prosper and succeed.

Whether it is on the floor of the House of Commons or the shop floor, I am proud to stand with my sisters.

Centre Block Fire of 1916Statements By Members

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, the burning of Parliament 100 years ago today was recorded by Hansard in the following words:

9 pm--at this time Mr. C. R. Stewart, Chief Doorkeeper of the House of Commons, came hurriedly into the Chamber and called out: “There is a big fire in the reading room; everybody get out quickly.” The sitting was immediately suspended without formality, and members, officials, and visitors...fled from the Chamber. Some of them were almost overcome by the smoke and flames before reaching a place of safety.

Hansard then records the phoenix-like rebirth of the House the very next day.

“Friday, February 4, 1916. The House met at Three o'clock, at the Victoria Memorial Museum, the Speaker in the Chair.”

I encourage all members to read the moving speeches made by the Right Hon. Sir Robert Borden and the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier while the ashes were still smoldering at Parliament.

The mace here in this chamber is our physical connection to that very tragic day.

That Parliament was burned, but Parliament itself is immortal.

Year of the MonkeyStatements By Members

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Shaun Chen Liberal Scarborough North, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week, Canadians in my riding, Scarborough North, and across Canada will celebrate the beginning of the lunar new year.

Friends and families will gather for dinners, lion dances, and the exchange of red envelopes to celebrate the Year of the Monkey.

The monkey is a curious and clever creature whose virtues are a source of inspiration, as we continue to shape a strong and prosperous Canada. It is also a time to reflect on the significant contributions that Canadians of East Asian descent have made to our country's economic, cultural, and social landscape.

As a Chinese Canadian, I am proud to live in a country known for its richness and diversity. That is something we all cherish, and we should all be proud of.

As we mark the lunar new year with festivities from coast to coast to coast, let us look forward together to a future filled with good health, optimism, and prosperity for all.

From my family to all, Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Hey Fat Choy.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that projects like energy east create well-paid jobs.

Today, TransCanada announced a deal with ABB Canada that will result in the creation of 210 direct and indirect jobs in Quebec, but the Prime Minister is determined to find new ways to block and delay the process.

Considering all of the jobs that could be created, why is the Prime Minister not supporting the energy east project?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to be in Alberta a few weeks ago and to meet with members of the oil and gas community. They reinforced for me the incredible importance of getting their resources to tidewater. We have had nine years of failure in getting resources to tidewater. We are not going to take that failed approach. We are taking a new approach to get social licence so we can actually move resources to tidewater and improve our economic situation.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I talk to a lot of Albertans and they know exactly who is standing up for their jobs. It is this party, and not that party.

The energy east project continues to grow. Yesterday, the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association passed a resolution with overwhelming support for energy east. That is 479 local governments in Saskatchewan. Alberta is hurting, but Saskatchewan is hurting, too.

Why can the Prime Minister not finally show workers he cares and support energy east?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the enormous challenges facing Albertan families, facing families in Saskatchewan, facing families in Newfoundland because of the significant change in the price of oil. The Prime Minister, tonight, will be in Alberta meeting with the premier of Alberta. He is going to be talking about ways we can work together to deal with the economic situation.

I just want to say that the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and the Minister of Veterans Affairs, my caucus colleagues from Alberta, from Saskatchewan, and from Newfoundland are incredibly strong advocates for families from those communities.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about who supports energy east: the Liberal premier of New Brunswick, the Conservative premier in Saskatchewan, the Liberal premier of Ontario, and, of course, the NDP premier in Alberta. Why this all-party support? It is because this is about jobs for people who are suffering. The only party not supporting energy east is the Liberal government.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have said repeatedly in the House that we realize we need to help those organizations that are producing oil get it to tidewater. We are working hard to do that. We are setting up a process that will get social licence so that we will not have the same failure that has happened over the last nine years to actually deliver on the promise. We are going to deliver this for Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the sinking energy sector has dragged over 40,000 jobs down with it.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are making things difficult for proponents. Projects like the energy east pipeline, which would supply the Valero refinery in Lévis, Quebec, will have to wait an additional nine months before proceeding.

Instead of supporting the economy, the government is turning on the taps and building up a deficit that will put future generations in debt.

Why is it turning its back on the energy sector, the workers of Lévis and the families who depend on them?