House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was right.

Topics

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important when we are going into labour negotiations or wanting the participation of the RCMP that the chair of the labour relations board includes at least two members of the RCMP so that the board understands the unique nature of the job that the RCMP does and there is bargaining in good faith.

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Before we recognize the hon. member for Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, I will let him know there are only about six minutes remaining in the time before we go to statements by members at 2 p.m. I will give him the usual signal ahead of time and, of course, he will know that he will have his remaining time when the House next gets back to debate on this question.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan.

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, members in this place who know me and who know me well know that I am an unabashed supporter of the RCMP.

I come by that support honestly, I believe. I have many friends currently in the RCMP whom I still consider to be very close to me, I have many retired members of the RCMP whom I see frequently, and unfortunately I have had many friends in the RCMP who have since passed.

As I am a representative from Saskatchewan and have lived most of my life in the city of Regina, home of Depot, one can understand my affinity for the RCMP and the work it does on behalf of all Canadians. However, to me it is more than just the friendships and the relationships I have gained over the years with members of the force. It is far more personal than that to me. My mother's first husband was an officer of the RCMP who was killed on duty at Depot. That has stayed with me my entire life. It reminds me, and I think it should remind all members in this place, of the inherent dangers that RCMP members face each and every day in the course of their duties.

I, unfortunately, have attended far too many funerals of members who have lost their lives in the course of their day-to-day duties. I was in Edmonton 11 years ago to attend the funeral of those brave officers who died in Mayerthorpe. I can say without equivocation that it is still the most emotional ceremony I have ever attended.

I take no pride in saying that I have attended these ceremonies. It is with great sorrow that I make mention of them, because it reminds me again that we as Canadians, and particularly as parliamentarians, should be doing everything that we can to support the RCMP in all of their endeavours.

The RCMP is iconic. Many members before me have spoken of that. They have spoken of the international acclaim rightly accorded the RCMP. It is the brand that I think most Canadians take pride in. In fact, a survey done not too many years ago indicated that the RCMP had the strongest brand of any organization in the world, second only to Coca-Cola. I would suggest to the House, as I have suggested to many officers within the RCMP, that the brand is so enduring because of the exemplary work that it has done over the years, starting in 1873 with the North-West Mounted Police and continuing on until 1920, when the RCMP, the modern-day RCMP as we know it, was formed.

This national police force of ours is, in my estimation, one of the best, if not the best, police force in the world. Notwithstanding the challenges that the RCMP has faced over the last number of years, most recently about sexual harassment within the workforce, the force continues to be a thriving and very necessary force in our lives. It is part of our culture. That is why I am so pleased to be able to speak on Bill C-7, which fundamentally affects the way the RCMP organizes and goes about its business.

Before I get into some of the details of Bill C-7, let me also say that I have a great background in and a great knowledge of the union movement in Canada. There may be members on the benches opposite who will accuse me and some of my colleagues of being anti-union and say that we are not supporting Bill C-7 because we are fundamentally and ideologically opposed to unions. I can say from my standpoint that this statement is certainly not true.

I was born and brought up in a union household. My father was formerly the head of the western Canadian division of the United Steelworkers of America. In fact, he mentored the current national director of the United Steelworkers, Ken Neumann. I still see Ken very often in the airports. We talk fondly about my father and the influence my father had on Ken and the work he is doing today. I can absolutely say without hesitation and without equivocation that I understand the role and, I would suggest, the necessary role that the union movement and the labour movement has in Canada.

However, there are many aspects of that movement and of unions themselves with which I have very fundamental and profound disagreements. With the Speaker's permission, I will get into those disagreements and into the content of Bill C-7 shortly after question period concludes.

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan will have 15 minutes remaining for his remarks when the House next resumes debate on the question.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the International Day of La Francophonie was on March 20. La Francophonie represents 220 million francophones in more than 70 countries on five continents.

Quebeckers and members of francophone and Acadian communities in Canada have long been waging an ongoing battle. We have achieved much, but there is still much to be done.

Although we hear all kinds of lip service in the House, the assimilation rate of francophones outside Quebec has increased from 27% to 39% in the past 40 years. French is on the decline in Quebec, and francophones are now a minority in Montreal.

The federal government has failed in its responsibility to francophone and Acadian communities and is contributing to the anglicization of Quebec.

The only way to promote the French language and secure its future in Quebec and North America is for Quebec to become independent.

Shining Through Centre for Children with AutismStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations has declared April 2 World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism.

I stand today in advance of that important date to recognize the good work of the Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism. The Shining Through Centre was started in 1999 in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, and it is a leader in the area of autism therapy, research, and education.

Since the opening of its first centre in Woodbridge in 2001, the Shining Through Centre has expanded to include facilities in North York and Mississauga and has supported hundreds of children and their families.

Through the tireless efforts of president and co-founders Fred Santini, John Dibartolo, Umberto Martini, Val Girardi, and Ted Leider, the Shining Through Centre has raised millions of dollars, including at this year's 17th annual gala, which was attended by over 1,500 people.

I humbly ask my colleagues to join me in thanking the Shining Through Centre for giving children with autism a chance to shine.

Saskatoon Citizen of the YearStatements By Members

March 22nd, 2016 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the house today to honour Dr. Jay Kalra, who was named Citizen of the Year in Saskatoon.

Last Friday at a luncheon I had the opportunity to speak about the accomplishments of Jay Kalra. He is an award-winning researcher and academic who gained international acclaim for his innovative work in pathology and health care delivery.

As a cultural and diversity ambassador, Dr. Kalra has served our city, our province, and our nation with pride. Dr. Kalra has received numerous honours, including being named as one of the top 25 Canadian immigrants in 2013.

In every community that Dr. Kalra has been a part of, from the University of Saskatchewan to the medical profession to his volunteerism, he has made Saskatoon a better place.

Congratulations to Dr. Jay Kalra on being named Saskatoon Citizen of the Year for 2015.

Harry VerranStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Colin Fraser Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute and respect to Mr. Harry James Verran of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, who passed away October 18, 2015, at the age of 85.

Mr. Verran was a member of Parliament for South West Nova from 1993 to 1997 and served his constituents proudly as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Mr. Verran was not only a politician: he was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy for 20 years, a premier long-distance runner, a photographer, a businessman, and a coach. He was truly a pillar of his community.

Most important to Mr. Verran, though, was his family. He was devoted to Connie, his loving wife of 61 years, and their seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Our community and our country are richer because of Harry Verran, and we treasure his enduring legacy. We will remember him with much fondness and affection. My thanks to Harry for a life well lived.

World Water DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats strongly believe that access to clean water is a human right. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of human rights.

Today is an opportunity to recognize and learn more about water-related issues, to be inspired to tell others, and to take action to make a difference.

This has been happening in my riding, where the people of Shawnigan Lake have been fighting a noble battle to protect their watershed from contamination.

Furthermore, 73% of first nations communities in Canada are living with water systems that are medium to high risk, which is an absolute national shame for a country that boasts 20% of the world's fresh water.

On this World Water Day, I call on the government to enact meaningful environmental protections so that every person in Canada has access to clean water.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I was proud to be a part of Canada's delegation to the 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, led by the Minister of Status of Women.

Canada was clear about the empowerment of women and girls; the equality of indigenous women and girls; the elimination of gender-based violence; the health of women, children, and adolescents, including sexual and reproductive health and rights; and the elimination of early forced marriage.

Over and over, people told me how excited they were that Canada was back on the world stage and that our gender-balanced cabinet was an inspiration to them and to the citizens of their countries.

Our Prime Minister's very active participation, his being named a leader of the HeForShe global campaign, and the fact that we are seeking election to the UN Commission on the Status of Women all underscore our government's renewed commitment to gender equality at home and around the world.

Events in BrusselsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dianne Lynn Watts Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of my constituents in the riding of South Surrey—White Rock and all residents to stand in solidarity with the people of Brussels. This morning, 31 innocent people were murdered and over 100 were injured in a series of attacks. I want to acknowledge the work done by the Belgian military, police, and first responders, who have been working tirelessly since this incident occurred.

This kind of deadly tragedy has unfortunately become far too commonplace around the world. As these terror attacks continue to impact us all, we must stand strong together and united with our allies.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those murdered and injured in Brussels today. Their lives will be forever impacted.

As well, I would like to extend my condolences to the Ford family on the passing of the former mayor and a colleague, Rob Ford. He led a colourful life, loved his community, and will be missed by all who knew him.

Armenian Community Centre of TorontoStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geng Tan Liberal Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto, located in my riding of Don Valley North, is welcoming 1,080 privately sponsored Syrian refugees, making it one of Canada's leaders in resettling newcomers.

I salute the hard work and dedication of the Armenian Community Centre. It is heartwarming to see its generous members helping so many individuals and families that have suffered severe conflict and loss.

Several of these families now have children enrolled in the school attached to the centre. Parents once again see smiles and hear laughter as their kids play together in the centre after school.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the members of the Armenian Community Centre for helping Canada resettle 25,000 newcomers in communities across this country by March 1, 2016.

Events in BrusselsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as president of the Canadian branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, I was going to rise this afternoon to talk about the International Day of La Francophonie, which was on Sunday.

However, today La Francophonie is in mourning for one of its own. Earlier this morning, Belgium was attacked by cowards, criminals who attacked Brussels with unspeakable violence.

I want our Belgian friends and cousins to know that we on this side of the Atlantic are standing with them and praying for them.

World Theatre DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, March 27 is World Theatre Day, and around the world people will be celebrating the value that live theatre brings to their community. World Theatre Day honours and acknowledges the power of theatre.

Theatre can entertain us. It can challenge us, urging us to question situations. It gives us insight into human relationships. It has the power to foster dialogue and connections, leading to greater understanding and tolerance. It tells stories and helps us to know ourselves and build our identity.

In Canada, we are fortunate to have a rich array of theatre. We have signature companies like the Stratford and Shaw Festivals in Ontario, and Neptune Theatre in Halifax. We enjoy grassroots community theatres, including the Queensville Players and South Simcoe Theatre in my community. Our towns and cities are richer and more vibrant thanks to theatre.

In today's world, quality of life is increasingly linked to economic success. Theatre is an important part of enriching the experience of living in or visiting a community and strengthening its economy.

As we celebrate World Theatre Day, I wish to recognize all those Canadians who work in and contribute to theatre across our great country.

World Water DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, World Water Day is a welcome reminder that water is vital to human health and to the health of our natural ecosystems.

Water is also fundamental to the economy. From the earliest days of the agricultural and industrial revolutions to today's digital age, water is a staple input in the production process.

We all recognize and understand water's all-encompassing role in our lives.

However, our challenge remains to harmonize the policies of all the different jurisdictions, such as the watershed areas, municipalities, provinces, first nations, the federal government and the international community, which govern and influence the use, protection and conservation of our drinking water resources.

On this World Water Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to making water a public policy priority, especially for the sake of those who are without the clean water they need to lead healthy and prosperous lives, and for future generations who will be living in a water-stressed world.

Rob FordStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember Toronto city councillor and former Toronto mayor Rob Ford who passed away this morning. Today our thoughts are with his family and in particular his two young children. The Fords are a strong family. Today we wish them even more strength.

As a former council colleague and as a journalist who had a front row seat to his career, Rob, and everyone in Toronto knew him as Rob, was a force to be reckoned with.

To see his life force extinguished so suddenly only underlines how horrid cancer is, how united we must be in fighting this disease, while we also stand and support the people and families living with cancer.

Rob can be remembered many ways, but there is a singular image that anyone who spent time at Toronto City Hall can recall very easily. It is an image of Rob with a clutch of pink phone messages calling back his constituents. As a public servant, he took this responsibility seriously and approached it with a passionate dedication that few have equalled.

Serving the public defined Rob, so did coaching football. It is how I remember him today and forever more.

Rob FordStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, like my friend, I rise in the House today to offer deepest condolences on behalf of the House to the Ford family on the passing of Toronto city councillor and former mayor Rob Ford.

Today the Ford family lost a father, a husband, a brother and a son to cancer, and the city lost a passionate servant.

Years ago, I met Doug Ford Senior when he worked alongside my father as a member of provincial Parliament at Queen's Park. Like many sons and daughters who inherit their parents' passion for public service, like you did, Mr. Speaker, Rob Ford continued his father's dedication to Etobicoke and the city of Toronto by serving the public, first as a city councillor and ultimately as the mayor of Toronto.

While his term as mayor was often a difficult time, nobody could dispute Rob Ford's passion for the city and what he thought was best for it. He was legendary for phoning people personally on issues and for visiting people to see their challenges first hand.

Today the Ford family lost one of their own and the city of Toronto lost a passionate booster. He will be dearly missed.

Events in BrusselsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians, I was shocked and saddened to hear of the terrorist attacks in Brussels this morning.

People at the airport and on the subway were victims of attacks carried out by terrorists who do not share our values of freedom, democracy and respect for humanity.

Today, I offer my sincere condolences to the people of Belgium, especially the families, friends and communities of those who were killed or injured.

As many of us know, Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium, but it is also the home of the European Union and NATO.

Having spent four years serving with NATO myself, I know the amazing work being done every single day by these great organizations which the people of Belgium host and support with generosity and much good will.

As allies and friends, Belgians should know that all Canadians are standing shoulder to shoulder with them today.

Marcelle RobidouxStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, for International Women's Day my team organized a consultation in order to identify women who are role models in our society and should be depicted on our bank notes. I am pleased to inform the House that the outstanding women activists Thérèse Casgrain and Madeleine Parent were the most popular choices. I would like to thank everyone who participated.

However, I must say that many exceptional women have recently left Longueuil—Saint-Hubert. I was sad to learn this very day of the death of Marcelle Robidoux, who managed, with love and authority, Maison de jeunes, located on King-George Street in Longueuil. However, the youth in that area will still be in good hands because her daughters will continue the tradition of generosity established by their mother and their grandmother, Antoinette Robidoux.

Marcelle Robidoux left us to join another great lady on Montreal's south shore, another tireless model of social action and dedication, Gisèle Auprix-St-Germain. Longueuil—Saint-Hubert has lost two inspiring women at the start of this year, women who pioneered social causes in our area. We must remember their kindness and dedication, so that they continue to show the way for a long time to future generations of volunteers.

Events in BrusselsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians awoke today to tragic news from Belgium. Several shocking and horrific terrorist attacks in Brussels killed dozens of innocent civilians going about their daily lives.

These attacks, whether they occur in Brussels, Paris, or in Ottawa, are attacks on our way of life. People from all over the world move to western countries because of our open and welcoming societies that value individual rights, equality, and principles of natural justice.

These terrorists have taken advantage of our values and our openness by committing these heinous acts. All freedom-loving nations need to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight the threat of those who want to replace our open societies with one based on radical jihadism.

These attacks are not isolated events. They are not the acts of a small group. They are part of a systemic and worldwide attack on everything our civilization stands for.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. I know all Canadians stand with me in denouncing these attacks and offering our condolences to the the people of Belgium.

Events in BrusselsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are all outraged and deeply saddened by the attacks that took place this morning in Brussels. We offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those killed, and we hope for a fast recovery for all those who have been injured.

These attacks once again remind us of the importance of the work that our national security agencies and their international partners are doing to help prevent and combat terrorism and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

We would also like to remind members that Canada needs to be a world leader in the fight against radicalization and that we are working with communities to address this problem.

Canada's solidarity with and friendship for Belgium are unwavering at this difficult time. Terrorism and hatred will never have a place in our free and open societies.

The message we would like to send to the people of Belgium comes from their national anthem, La Brabançonne, which says: We swear with one cry—You shall live!
You shall live, so great and beautiful

Events in BrusselsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the eyes of the world are currently focused on Brussels, Belgium, where our friends and allies have been the victims of a terrorist attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Can the Prime Minister give Canadians an update on the most recent developments in Belgium and can he tell us whether any Canadians were involved in this terrorist attack?

Events in BrusselsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition for her true and meaningful words. I am sure that all of my colleagues in the House will want to join with me in expressing Canadians' absolute solidarity with the people of Belgium and our determination to defeat terrorism, which only grows stronger with each attack of this kind. Terrorism is a dead end that cannot succeed. We are going to combat terrorism and, today, we will do it with the people of Belgium.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on that note, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister and the Liberal Party campaigned to get rid of certain anti-terrorist measures that the Conservatives brought in to disrupt and prevent terrorist networks. Our security forces have now said that they have used these tools successfully to disrupt terrorist activity here in Canada.

Will the Prime Minister reverse his position and ensure that we maintain these tools, so our security forces can keep Canadians safe from terrorism?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the commitment was very clear that we would do everything in our power to make sure that our security and police services were effective in keeping Canadians safe and, at the same time, that Canadian values, rights, and freedoms were thoroughly and properly respected. There is no contradiction between those two positions.