House of Commons Hansard #218 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forest.


Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that forestry and softwood lumber are an important industry for our country. In fact, the industry creates more than 200,000 jobs directly. That does not speak to the number of indirect jobs it creates.

I would ask the member to quickly outline the importance of this industry in terms of providing middle-class jobs, and what the government is doing to protect those jobs.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member herself has pointed out, there is significant employment that generates well-paying, middle-class jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

There is also a significant amount of work that is being done through the forest products sector that relates to some of the jobs in the future, such as clean technology and the utilization of biomass as a fuel that will enable us to move toward a lower carbon future. This is an incredibly important sector for Canadians, and it is one on which we need to continue to build and modernize as we go forward.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the member for Peace River—Westlock.

I am pleased to speak in support of this motion and in support of the Canadian forestry industry. Across Canada, forestry plays a key role in the growth and economic prosperity of provincial economies, and of small communities in particular. In fact, over 650 communities throughout Canada rely on forestry, and roughly 160 of those communities are solely reliant on forestry. In 2016, Canada exported $34.6 billion in forestry products, a 5.2% increase from 2015. It represents a key component of Canada's export portfolio.

In my home province of Alberta, there are more than 27 million hectares of forest area. Forestry employs more than 20,000 people and pays out close to $1 billion a year in salaries and wages. The forestry sector contributes $5.5 billion to the Alberta economy, and the workforce in the prairie provinces in forestry could double by 2020. It is clear that forestry is vital to the Canadian economy, and the federal government must do its part to support forestry workers and processors.

The official opposition's motion today calls on the government to support the forestry sector and its workers by securing a softwood lumber trade agreement. The motion also asks the government to denounce efforts by foreign-funded non-governmental organizations that actually seek to disrupt Canada's lawful and sustainable forestry practices, and other natural resources development, such as crucial energy projects, that benefit communities and raise the standard of living of all Canadians.

For example, ForestEthics has called pipelines that would safely transport oil to export markets “dirty energy projects”. Greenpeace recently celebrated the cancellation of the energy east pipeline by calling it a “victory”. These groups do not represent the vast majority of Canadians, who support responsible natural resources development. In fact, they actively campaign against the good-paying jobs and benefits the natural resources sector creates in Canada on which the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Canadians depend.

The most recent softwood lumber agreement expired over two years ago. There is no agreement to protect Canadian forestry workers. The negative impacts of this Liberal failure are huge. The last softwood lumber dispute cost the Canadian forestry sector $5.3 million. The previous Conservative government negotiated a new agreement within three months of coming into office in 2006. Conservatives took action again in 2012 and negotiated a two-year extension, which protected the Canadian forestry sector and workers until October 2016. It provided the forestry sector with certainty and stability, unlike this Liberal inaction, which has put the sector and workers' livelihoods at risk.

On March 12, the then minister of international trade heralded a real breakthrough on softwood lumber negotiations and said that there would be the structure of a deal within 100 days. The deadline came and went. “No softwood lumber deal, as 'challenging but productive' talks drag on”, was the headline after that deadline passed.

The tariffs currently being imposed on Canadian producers are as high as 24%, which will undoubtedly lead to job losses for Canadians and will make it increasingly difficult for Canadian forestry producers to thrive. Forestry is an important part of Alberta's economy. I provides over 20,000 Alberta jobs, and the forest products industry is Alberta's third largest manufacturing industry and second largest manufacturing export industry. However, because of Liberal inaction, these jobs and the economic contributions from the forestry sector are at risk.

With the countervailing and anti-dumping duties combined, Alberta's forestry producers are faced with trade barriers as high as 30%, with no clear remedy in sight. This, in addition to the mountain pine beetle infestation, is causing real damage. For example, in Alberta alone, nearly $500 million has been spent to fight the mountain pine beetle, but it continues to spread. In fact, six million hectares of land are currently at risk.

Albertans know the impact of hard times in the forestry sector. In Lakeland, Millar Western had to shut down its sawmill in Boyle. In a town of 950 people, 10% of the population lost their jobs, which eliminated roughly a quarter-million dollars in property taxes and other revenues for the village. It is devastating.

However, there are many success stories. Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. is a pulp and paper company, also in Lakeland. Alberta-Pacific is one of the top 100 employers in Canada and one of the top 100 employers of young Canadians. It is recognized as being one of the top environmental companies in the world. In addition to pulp products like paper and tissue, it produces renewable energy from forest biomass to power its mill site. This is a great Alberta story.

As a key contributor to Alberta's economy, it is crucial that the Liberals secure a new softwood lumber agreement.

Paul Whittaker, president and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association, said, “If you look at the significant challenges facing Alberta’s forest sector, if Item 1 is the mountain pine beetle, Item 2 is the future of the softwood lumber agreement.” He went on to say, “it provides a stable and predictable platform for trade with the most significant, to Alberta, external market that we have.” In 2014, 24% of Alberta lumber processed by member companies of the Alberta Forest Products Association went to the United States, but with still no deal, it is clear that the Liberals need to change their approach to negotiating.

Naomi Christensen, a softwood lumber expert with the Canada West Foundation, says that Canada needs to show the U.S. government how increased tariffs on Canadian lumber will negatively impact American consumers. Increasing tariffs on Canadian lumber products will actually cause higher housing prices for Americans, lost jobs, and lost wages. She also said:

There is only one real reason behind the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s move to petition the Commerce Department to place duties on Canadian softwood lumber—to raise the price of lumber. Yet, while the U.S. domestic industry benefits from higher profits, U.S. consumers lose out. This is clear by looking at the effects of the duties prescribed by the recently expired Softwood Lumber Agreement. Ranging from 0 per cent to 15 per cent, depending on the price of lumber, U.S. producers earned more than $4-billion because of the duties, according to the Montreal Economic Institute; meanwhile, U.S. consumers paid an extra $6-billion.

Prior to the U.S. government imposing duties on Canadian lumber, it was estimated by the U.S. National Association of Home Builders that imposing a 25% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports would result in nearly 8,000 American jobs lost and $450 million in lost wages. Ms. Christensen points out that Canada can motivate the U.S. to remove these tariffs. She said:

The housing market plays a major role in U.S. economic health. After the Great Recession of 2008, the U.S. economy only began to recover when the housing market did, and Canadian lumber aided this recovery.... Imposing duties high enough to significantly restrict the export of Canadian lumber to the United States will raise prices, decrease consumption and slow growth. A cooling housing market will make it difficult to boost growth in the [American] economy as a whole.

In other words, the Liberals need to make it abundantly clear to the United States how imposing high tariffs on Canadian lumber imports could, in fact, have significant negative impacts on Americans. Unfortunately, it appears that the Liberals have not convinced the U.S. and are not concerned with securing a new agreement to protect Canadian forestry workers, despite all the Liberal rhetoric. This continued uncertainty is bad for workers, bad for Canada's world-class forestry industry, and bad for the Canadian economy.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to ask my great colleague, and in fact neighbour, in terms of ridings, a question about this important motion on softwood lumber.

What we see in general, when it comes to a foreign policy relationship with the United States, is a government that prioritizes image over actually getting results. It was very proud of a state dinner with President Obama, yet under President Obama, and now under President Trump, it had two opportunities to pursue an agreement on softwood lumber, and we do not see any results.

Contrast that to the approach of Prime Minister Harper, who said right out of the gate that he wanted to have a good relationship but that there were certain priorities for Canada and he wanted to get these things done. Right out of the gate, when Prime Minister Harper was elected, we got a softwood lumber deal done, a deal that had eluded the previous Liberal government.

I wonder if my colleague could comment on why it is important that our foreign policy, trade policy, and engagement with other countries on economic issues prioritize Canadian interests and values, not the kind of purely symbolic, image-based photo ops that do not have any practical relevance to Canadians.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my prolific and effective colleague for the question. Not surprisingly, he is bang on.

I think all of us recall when the Prime Minister went to Washington on his first trip and met with the then president, who our Prime Minister lauded having dudeplomacy and a bromance with, but he failed to even bring the natural resources minister on that trip. As my colleague rightfully points out, there have been many opportunities and visits to the United States. They have included having pictures with business owners to bolster the Prime Minister's own credentials as a feminist instead of focusing on implementing a trade deal to protect Canadian forestry workers and advocating for Canada's world-leading, responsible natural resources development overall.

It is completely mind-boggling that two years in, the Canadian government has not yet been able to secure a softwood lumber agreement, while on a number of fronts in natural resources development, Liberals themselves have caused continued uncertainty and instability with regulatory changes. It seems that there is a bit of a pattern with the Liberal government, despite all its big talk.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives were in power and were negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement, 42,000 jobs were lost in Quebec alone, including 100 jobs in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. During their reign, the Conservatives spent a lot more time talking about the oil and gas industry than about how important the forestry industry is. I do not see how they are any different than the Liberals on this. In addition, in the negotiations, they handed the Americans $1 billion. A lot of money and a lot of jobs were lost in Quebec and Canada. In fact, 134,000 jobs were lost in Canada under the Conservatives' watch, under Mr. Harper.

Of course, everyone agrees that today's Conservative motion is important, but their action, when they were in power, killed thousands of jobs in the forestry sector, including many in Quebec.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, to start off, I would like to give my friend from the NDP some political advice. The Liberal government desperately wants to keep the soft NDP voters who voted for the Liberals last time around on side. For the NDP to be successful in the next election, it really needs to focus on the government, which needs to be accountable to Canadians right now, and try to take some of their votes back. That is just one aspect of some planning New Democrats might want to undertake in the next two years.

To her point, I am kind of confused, because the facts do not demonstrate that at all. The Conservative government secured a softwood lumber agreement within three months of coming to power in 2006 and renegotiated an extension later on to protect Canadian forestry workers and the Canadian forestry industry.

Conservatives proudly support responsible natural resource development of all kinds, in every province, in every community, that benefits Canadians and the Canadian economy and that allow us to play an unequivocal leadership role in the world, and we always will.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before resuming debate, I want to remind hon. members that there are speeches being given and debate going on. It is nice to hear everyone talking among themselves, but it is rather difficult to hear what is being said.

The hon. member for Peace River—Westlock has six minutes and will have four minutes left when debate resumes.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in support of the softwood lumber industry.

All of us, in some aspect of our lives, touch up against the softwood lumber industry. I had an opportunity recently to tour DMI in Peace River. It gave me a three-page document, listing all the companies where its product ended up in a final product. Members will be pleased to know products like Kleenex start out in northern Alberta in the form of a tree. Products like Pampers, or like the very paper in front of us started out as a tree up in northern Alberta.

This is very important to each and every one of us. The very fact is that western civilization, the lives that we all lead, the quality of life, the products we use, all are bound up in the softwood lumber industry.

I recently had a report on my desk that said that 127,000 jobs in the northern half of Alberta were affected by the softwood lumber industry, 127,000 jobs. That is just in northern Alberta. That says nothing of the jobs across Canada. I know that 85% of the softwood lumber sold in North America is produced in Alberta or B.C. Therefore, it is a very important part of the Canadian economy.

When I say 127,000 jobs are affected, we often take that as one large number. However, I would like to bring this down to the individual level as well.

I am going to talk a little about Mark, who is a mechanic in Whitecourt. He is self-employed. He has a small tax shelter out of which he works. It is a personal corporation. He works there every day. He works for a number of different logging companies, fixing up their logging equipment. We we are talking about those people when we defend these kinds of jobs. Mark is raising his family in Whitecourt. His family moved to the Whitecourt area because of the economic opportunities.

I also want to talk a little about a buddy named Guido. Guido drives a logging truck during the winter and he farms during the summer. I talked about this same fellow the other day. Guido's ability to farm comes from the very fact that he is able to drive a logging truck during the winter. He is able to make money during the winter in order to plant his crops in the spring. As I said the other day, he also had significant crop failure last year. He had to save up the money again this year in order to put his crops in. It is not looking great for his crops this year, again. Hats off to Guido for the efforts.

However, it does speak to the fact that we need the softwood lumber industry in Canada and we need to support it.

When I talk about the softwood lumber industry, it is people like Guido and Mark who I think about. I am not thinking about the next prize I am going to get from an international organization. It is not about looking for a seat at the UN Security Council. It is not about being able to say that Canada is back, wherever this may be. It is about looking after Canadians and ensuring that each and every one of us has the opportunity and the ability to make a living in order to support our family. It is with that in mind that I come to the defence and recognition of what our softwood lumber industry does for each and every one of our communities.

I recently hosted a round table in my riding on softwood lumber. The member for Prince Albert came up to visit with us. The industry folks we met with are very much concerned about where we were headed with the softwood lumber agreement. They know that without the agreement, we end up in an area where our products are put at a significant disadvantage. We need to ensure we can avoid the high tariffs that have been in place and ensure our product, which is some of the best product in the entire world, can compete on the world stage, particularly in the North American market.

One of the things that was repeatedly brought up was the idea of quotas that could come into force without the new agreement. That was significant for them. Each and every time the quotas were mentioned, they were concerned about how Alberta, in particular, would be affected. The last time there was an agreement production was divided up across the country. Alberta seemed to always exceed its quota. Alberta was forever penalized under the tariff regime. Whatever comes out in the next agreement, which we hope will happen any day now, they want to ensure Alberta gets its fair share of the quota if that is the direction in which the Liberal government is going.

For the sake of the 127,000 jobs in northern Alberta, it is crucial we get a softwood lumber deal. We in the Conservative Party have been pushing hard for that. I want to ensure the government continues to work hard to get a softwood lumber deal sooner rather than later.

Opposition Motion—Support for Forestry WorkersBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member will have four minutes remaining for his speech following question period.

John DunsworthStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today I rise as the member of Parliament for Sunnyvale to honour our beloved Canadian actor and Trailer Park boy, John Dunsworth, who passed away this week.

He cared about those around him and showed it by mentoring others and working hard to rid Nova Scotia of VLTs. He loved theatre and performed in many productions on Halifax's Neptune Theatre stage.

John believed in the Nova Scotia film industry and those working in it. From building stages, running his casting company, to appearing in countless films and television productions, he did it all.

However, he is best known as Dartmouth's own Mr. Jim Lahey on the Trailer Park Boys, an epic trailer park supervisor we will never forget. As Mr. Lahey would say, we will have a little “drinky poo” for my friend tonight.

ChristmasStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, my favourite time of the year is just two short months away. With the Christmas season just around the corner, Canadians from across the country will be spending special time with our families and friends.

Christmas is a time to reflect on our many blessings in Canada, while also celebrating the birth of Jesus, a saviour for all the world.

These are some timeless words from Luke that have given all mankind joy and hope over the centuries:

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

May the Christmas story of this humble birth in a stable remind us of the real hope given to all of us.

From our Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies family to everyone across Canada, merry Christmas.

Naturallia 2017Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Denis Lemieux Liberal Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, you cannot imagine how proud I am of my friend Guy Larouche, the mayor of Roberval, for taking up the challenge of hosting the 2017 edition of the prestigious Naturallia business forum in his wonderful city of Roberval. It is the largest forum for businesses in the natural resources field and major projects in Canada. I am proud to have fully supported him in this extraordinary adventure, which is coming to an end today.

I have admired the success of this event from afar, as well as the quality of the 650 participants that showcased Lac-Saint-Jean and all our leaders in the natural resources sector.

Our forestry industry, our aluminium industry, our mining sector, and our technologies of the future were all very well represented at the forum.

Congratulations to all the organizers on this extraordinary success.

DiwaliStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr Speaker, Diwali is the festival of lights, signifying the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Diwali represents a time of new beginnings, optimism and renewal.

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists around the world, including in my riding of Burnaby South. During this special time, families, friends and communities come together to celebrate, enjoy entertainment and of course enjoy delicious food.

In Canada, celebrating Diwali enriches our multicultural society as people of different ancestries and religions take time to share their traditions and contribute to Canada's ever growing diversity.

On behalf of my NDP colleagues, for all those celebrating Diwali across Canada, I wish them and their families happiness, prosperity, and peace.

Diwali mubarak. Happy Diwali.

McCain FoodsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an iconic partner in food production and agriculture from my riding, McCain Foods. This year, it is celebrating 60 years of passion, potatoes, and partnerships with Canadian farm families, serving up goodness, from its family to ours.

In 1957, the McCain brothers founded the company in their hometown of Florenceville, New Brunswick. Today, while McCain is still family owned and headquartered in New Brunswick, it has grown to over 41 production facilities across six continents, employing more than 17,000 people around the world. In fact, one in every three French fries around the world is a McCain French fry.

From farm to fork, this innovative Canadian business has generations of potato growing under its belt and knows what it takes to put good food on our table. McCain is proud to partner with Canadian farm families in three provinces, which collectively produce more than 80,000 acres of high quality potatoes.

McCain Foods will also tell us that its people are the secret ingredient to its delicious products and the core reason for its worldwide success. Sixty years ago, brothers Harrison and Wallace McCain co-founded McCain Foods on the belief that good ethics was good business. This still holds true today.

I congratulate McCain Foods and wish it all the best in the future.

James HargraveStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, high winds fuelled a wildfire that tore through Cypress County north of Hilda. The quick response by local farmers, residents, and volunteer firefighters helped put out the fire, but not before it destroyed several family farm homes, along with a significant amount of property, including livestock. In most communities across Canada, the commitment of these volunteers saves lives and livelihoods.

Tragically, the fire claimed the life of volunteer firefighter James Hargrave, a dedicated young husband, father, rancher, and community leader known for his involvement with land stewardship, environmental issues, and for advocating for Canada's farming and ranching industry. James' passion was operating the five-generation JH Ranch north of Walsh. He is the grandson to Bert Hargrave, who proudly stood in the House as the member of Parliament for Medicine Hat years before me.

James leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth; their four children, Hudson, aged 6; Alek aged 4; Savannah, aged 2; and Isabelle, aged six months.

Our hearts go out to all those who were impacted by this fire, and especially to James' family and his many friends. Our community, our province, indeed our country are less because of the loss of James Hargrave.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Don Valley West is the new home to close to 1,000 Syrian refugees. On Sunday night, I hosted 250 of them at a Thanksgiving concert. We were enthralled by world-class musicians from the Looking at the Stars Foundation, which brings classical music to people who may not have a chance to hear great music, which transforms and transports them to places of beauty, compassion, and grace.

Dmitri Kanovich, once a refugee himself, founded Looking at the Stars. He brought together musicians Lukas Geniusas, Yolanda Bruno, Joseph Johnson, and Barry Shiffman for a magical evening. They were supported by the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates and volunteers from Lawrence Park Community Church and Leaside United Church, who responded to my call for help.

Settling refugees well takes a government that welcomes those in need of protection; community agencies like Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office and New Circles who give direct service; and settled Canadians who open their hands and hearts to help them flourish in this country.

Together, we make Canada stronger and better.

Diwali and Bandi Chhor DivasStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Terry Duguid Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to wish a Happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas to all those celebrating in Winnipeg South and across the country.

Diwali, known as the festival of lights, is one of the most important holidays in Hinduism. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

Bandi Chhor Divas is celebrated by Sikhs all over the world. On this day, we reflect on the values of courage, compassion, and freedom for all.

Last Saturday night, I had the pleasure of joining a Diwali event hosted by the Hindu Society of Manitoba. It was a fantastic evening, featuring great cuisine and cultural performances. Over 5,000 Manitobans attended to celebrate Indian culture. I helped light the diyas and shared a meal featuring matar.

It is great that in this country we can experience all the flavours and textures of so many cultures right in our own backyard.

Again, I would like to wish a happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas to all those celebrating.

Block Parents of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the iconic Block Parents of Canada is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018.

In communities of every region of Canada, this initiative is often the only volunteer safety program available for people who want to keep their communities safe. The program has been supported by the Department of Public Safety over the past 26 years with a tiny contribution of $23,000 dollars annually.

However, on the eve of the program's 50th anniversary, the Minister of Public Safety suddenly decided that the efforts being made by these volunteers are not worth it. Without hesitation, the minister decided to end the partnership between the community volunteers, the police forces, and the Government of Canada by cutting the government's small contribution.

We know that the Liberals have a penchant for spending, but ending such an important program shows a complete lack of judgment. We always knew that the Liberals have never taken Canadians' safety seriously. This just proves it yet again.

Scarborough Centre Multifaith CouncilStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my two years as the member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre, I have been privileged to visit many different places of worship. No matter where we come from or how we worship, I have continually been impressed by the values and priorities that we all hold in common: our love for our families, our community, our great country, and our desire to give a better life to our children.

I believe there is so much more we can accomplish for the community together when we harness our collective energy and passion, which is why we have launched the Scarborough Centre Multifaith Council. I hope this group can work to help us understand and bridge our differences to promote respect and harmony.

As our first event, the Scarborough Muslim Association recently hosted a thanksgiving dinner at the local mosque where people from all faiths came together in fellowship to break bread and learn from one another. It was a great evening, and I look forward to seeing what this group can accomplish.

Persons DayStatements By Members

October 19th, 2017 / 2:10 p.m.


Iqra Khalid Liberal Mississauga—Erin Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 18 of each year, Canadians celebrate Persons Day. This day marks the pivotal moment in 1929 when the five Canadian trailblazers, the Famous Five, fought for women to be legally recognized as persons under our Constitution.

Each year the Governor General recognizes Canadians for their outstanding contributions to equality for women and girls. Today, six phenomenal Canadian women received the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case for 2017: Betsy Bury, Saskatoon; Micheline Dumont, Sherbrooke; Dr. Ramona Lumpkin, Halifax; Elizabeth Sheehy, Ottawa; Linda Slanina, Kitimat; and Melissa Sariffodeen, this year's youth recipient, who is from Toronto.

This year's recipients have made their mark and we salute them for helping to build a more equal and inclusive country.

Joe CarburyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Len Webber Conservative Calgary Confederation, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise to mark the passing of a friend and Calgary legend, Joe Carbury.

Joe was the familiar voice at the Calgary Stampede for 45 years. His play-by-play commentary brought an unimaginable level of excitement to the stampede chuckwagon rangeland derby. His deep, gravely voice was so recognizable that his calling of the chucks is etched in the memories of anyone who attended the greatest outdoor show on earth.

He was a large part of our community and a huge promoter of local sports. He was a class act, refreshingly humble, and was always ready to help and and to serve his community in any way he could. He left his mark on chuckwagon racing and was loved by the fans. He worked to make the sport safer and accessible to all.

Joe will now join his beloved Rose once again. Our deepest sympathies go to his daughters Colleen and Kathleen, and the entire Carbury family.

Startup CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker, today is a great day.

We are celebrating not only Small Business Week, but also Startup Canada Day on Parliament Hill. Throughout the day, more than 1,100 entrepreneurs, investors, industry representatives, and leaders will be planning the future of Canada's innovation ecosystem.

These small business owners create and support well-paying jobs for the middle class. I am proud of the fact that our government is lowering the small business tax rate to 9% in 2019, while ensuring that the tax system is fair for all Canadians.

I invite all hon. members to join me in welcoming to the Hill Victoria Lennox and the team from Startup Canada and congratulating them on their excellent work.

Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons CaseStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, 90 years ago, five Canadian women won a hard-fought battle for something we now take for granted: recognition that women are persons.

This morning, I had the honour of attending the presentation of the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. This year, a woman from Sherbrooke was one of the honourees. Her name is Micheline Dumont, and she is professor emeritus in the Université de Sherbrooke's history department. Ms. Dumont has authored and co-authored 18 books and essays, including L'histoire des femmes au Québec depuis quatre siècles and Le féminisme québécois raconté à Camille.

I would like to personally congratulate Ms. Dumont and thank her for dedicating her life to bringing women and their contributions out of the shadows and into the light. Conventional historical narratives have not given their role in our society the attention it deserves. We need more women as engaged and determined as Ms. Dumont if we want to build a truly egalitarian society.

In closing, I would like to share with the House something Ms. Dumont said this morning, words that aptly summarize what her life's work has taught us: women are part of history, women have a history, and women make history.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is reverting back to the time-honoured Liberal tradition of buying used equipment for the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces. Over Thanksgiving the government quietly announced that it has begun negotiations with Australia to buy their old fighter jets. This is after the defence minister clearly stated that the Liberal government would not buy used jets for our air force.

Canadians still remember the embarrassing Liberal purchase of used submarines. Instead of learning from their mistakes, the Liberals have doubled down, sending a direct message to Canadian troops that the government is willing to buy old equipment and that the armed forces must make do. The fact is that the government has turned the replacement of our CF-18s into a circus.

The members of the Canadian Armed Forces are tired of the delays, empty rhetoric, and a defence minister who cannot keep his facts straight. It is finally time for the defence minister to do what is in the best interest of our air force and immediately launch an open and fair competition to replace our entire fleet of CF-18s.