House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, if in the last fiscal year an individual claimed the education and textbook tax credit and that person paid $440 less in taxes, that is $440 more in the pocket of that individual. This year, if that was cancelled, the same individual would have $440 less to spend. That would be a tax increase because the individual would have less money. That math is also simple.

I grew up in Manitoba and I do not think the NDP in Manitoba ever conceptualized the idea of balancing a budget.

I will leave this comment with the House. When the Conservative government left office, Canada's net debt-to-GDP ratio was the lowest in the G7 and the federal tax burden was the lowest level on families in over 50 years. We left a surplus. Now under the Liberals we are looking at however many billions of dollars in deficit. We are seeing increases in taxes. Canadians can do this math.

I do not really care about socialism or Liberals or whatever political stripe. I want to work. I want more money in my pocket. It is my money, not the Liberal government's money.

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise and address this important motion, and more broadly the issues around it in terms of the government's tax policy.

We are having this discussion at an interesting moment in light of what the government is doing. I am a relatively young member. I am the youngest member of the Conservative caucus. I know many young people actually voted for the government with high expectations based on promises made and based on the Prime Minister's effort to strike an optimistic tone, yet we are seeing through the actions of the government on the economic front and other fronts the real cynicism of the Prime Minister and the government in the shameless way in which they are throwing promises over the side. They are throwing out their commitments. They are defending that as if it were not a problem, not a big deal at all.

The Prime Minister said in question period yesterday that he was going to do what he perceived to be in the national interest, not just act to tick a box on a platform. That shows quite a bit of disdain and disregard not only for the platform the Liberal Party ran on, but also for the Canadians who voted based on what was in that platform. We see the cynicism with which the Prime Minister has thrown the electoral reform question over the side, and the cynicism of the government's budgetary policy commitments. It made clear commitments to run $10 billion deficits for three years and then to return to a balanced budget, and yet there are massive deficits that far and away exceed those commitments, with no plan to balance the budget for decades into the future. That is real cynicism coming from the government, and it is hard to take.

The government also promised cuts to taxes for the middle class, and yet people making less than $45,000 a year, certainly the middle class and those working hard to join it, are suffering because of new taxes imposed by the government.

The Liberals' platform promised to lower the small business tax rate to 9%. The first budget said, “Well, we do not need to do that. It is not in the national interest and we are not going to be bound to checking boxes on the platform.” The impact of effectively raising taxes on small business does not just have an impact on business owners, but it also has an impact on people who work for small businesses. Most Canadians work for small businesses. It has an impact on Canadians who are unemployed, who might otherwise have the opportunity to get jobs working for small businesses.

The government also did away with the small business hiring credit. It passed legislation to raise payroll taxes. In so many ways, we see the government introducing the worst possible kinds of taxes: taxes on jobs, taxes on people of modest means who are working, who now will have a harder time retaining their job or finding a new job because of these taxes.

The government lowered the amount a person can invest in a tax-free savings account. The data show that those who use tax-free savings accounts are more likely to be of relatively modest means, likely because of the relative advantage of saving in a TFSA versus an RRSP for those who are of relatively modest means.

We have all these different areas in which the cynicism of the government is on display. We see how much disdain the Liberals have for their own platform and for Canadians who voted based on that platform.

It is ironic, because we hear often from the Prime Minister in particular about getting young people involved in politics. When we see these cynical actions of the government, it really can be discouraging to young people who may have volunteered, or who voted thinking they were getting one thing from the government and in fact what they are getting is the opposite. They are getting effective tax increases for those in the middle class and those of relatively modest means. They are also getting a complete denial of commitments the Liberals made with respect to electoral reform and other areas.

What we are talking about in this opposition motion is the fact that we have seen all of these efforts of the government to indirectly, but, at the same time, in a very concrete, practical, and impactful way, increase the taxes that people pay. Thank goodness we have a very effective opposition here, because up until yesterday, the government was musing about the possibility of introducing a significant tax on health and dental benefits.

Canadians may not know all of the procedural mechanics of this place. When the opposition proposes an opposition day motion, it puts that on notice a couple of days before. Today is Thursday. On Tuesday, Conservatives put notice of a motion forward that on Thursday there would be a debate about the government's plan to increase taxes on health and dental benefits. Then, all of a sudden, on Wednesday, the Prime Minister announces in question period that the government is not moving forward on that. If we had more opposition days, think of how well we would be doing, but, alas, we only have so many days allotted.

While we are having this discussion, let us recognize the reality of the timing of what the government did. I wish that was all it took to make this a great budget. We have improved the budget a little, but I suspect that there will still be issues in the budget that Conservatives take issue with. Perhaps the government will take their advice again and actually check that box in the Liberal platform by following through on the tax reduction for small businesses. Maybe it will restore the hiring credit to help people in my province, especially those struggling with high levels of unemployment, and across the country get back to work.

Let us hope that maybe it will reverse course on some of these major tax increases it has brought in. Maybe it will reverse course even on the carbon tax, a punitive tax against those who would like to heat their homes, a punitive tax against the mother in my riding who actually cannot walk to the grocery store because she has two little kids. These are the people who are suffering because of the carbon tax that has now been imposed in Alberta and that the government wants to force a subsequent provincial government, which some people are looking forward to, not to do away with. That is a real problem on all of these different fronts: the government looking to impose new taxes to raise taxes.

I want to draw the attention of members as well to the fact that over the summer the Minister of Finance asked people to do a review of what are often called tax expenditures. Effectively, these are the mechanisms in the tax code that allow people to reduce their taxes by claiming different deductions. Experts have proposed all kinds of so-called tax expenditures to eliminate. We need to know what the government is actually planning to do, because I know a lot of people are concerned about it. They are concerned that there may be changes with respect to tax credits on charitable donations.

The Conservative government brought in a volunteer firefighter tax credit to encourage people to be involved in their communities and do what they can to be part of fighting fires in their communities. One of the recommendations from the experts has been to get rid of that. There is the public transit tax credit. Here is an idea. When we are trying to improve the environment, instead of levying a tax on people to improve the environment, let us cut their taxes in order to improve the environment. That was the approach that Conservatives took, to have a green tax cut instead of a so-called new green tax. In fact, when the current government thinks green, all it is thinking about are ways of taking more money from Canadians.

There was a proposal with respect to pension income splitting from one of the experts. I hope the government does not go down the road of eliminating pension income splitting. Of course, Liberals said during the election campaign that they would not, but maybe 2015 was the last election in which the Liberals said they would not get rid of income splitting for pensioners. Maybe that is what we will be hearing later on, because checking boxes on their platform just does not seem to matter to the Prime Minister or the government anymore.

Canadians are suffering because of tax increases, and they are suffering because of the shameless cynicism of this Prime Minister. Thank goodness the opposition was able to make a difference on this health and dental plan issue. Hopefully the government will start to listen to us on other measures as well.

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Long Liberal Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member across for his speech and his version of economics. Again we hear how the Conservative Party is such a great steward of the economy, a party that had recession after recession that left us in a deficit situation.

I have a question for the member opposite. I have asked this question many times, and no one on the opposite side can answer this question. The member opposite again brought up the beloved tax-free savings accounts, and how the Conservatives wanted to double them. However, 93% of Canadians, and this is a fact, had no benefit of the doubling of the tax-free savings accounts.

Why double the tax-free savings account when only 7% of Canadians could benefit from that doubling?

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is maybe too much there to address all of it at once.

The member notes the recession that Canada went through in 2008-09, as if he is under the impression that that was the result of Canadian policy. I have never heard anyone suggest that before. Maybe this member knows something that I do not.

He said that the Conservatives left a deficit for the Liberals. Well, the department of finance disagrees, the parliamentary budget officer disagrees, and even the NDP disagree with that. The only people who think the Liberals received a deficit are the Liberals. Let me say, they tried hard to spend as much as they could when they took office to obscure the record, but, again, the parliamentary budget office and the department of finance have been very clear on this point.

With respect to the question on tax-free savings accounts, the member thinks that only 7% of Canadians have TFSAs available to them. I invite him to visit fin.gc.ca, which explains how tax-free savings accounts are available to anybody who wants to put money aside, tax free. That is the reality.

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked about the carbon tax in part of his speech. I do not know whether he is aware of this, but a large majority of the Canadian population lives in a province where there is some form of carbon pricing. If I recall correctly, nearly 90% of Canadians live in one of those provinces. I would therefore like to ask him a very simple question.

At what point does the member foresee the apocalypse and the collapse of the economy of all the provinces that already have a carbon tax?

The Conservatives always scare people by telling them that a carbon tax would cause the Canadian economy to collapse. At what point, then, does the member foresee that those provinces will collapse and there will be an economic apocalypse?

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting criteria the NDP apply to decision-making, if it does not cause the apocalypse, then it is okay. My position on carbon taxes is that they will not cause the apocalypse but that they are still bad.

We have a carbon tax in Alberta, a carbon tax that the current provincial government did not discuss during the election. It may be that many jurisdictions across the country have carbon taxes. I suspect that we will not have one in Alberta in three years, but who is counting?

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech a few minutes ago, and in particular his comments about how this motion got on the floor. He said that this was put on the floor a few days ago, and that somehow this side of the House caught wind of it and was reacting.

In reality, what really happened is the opposition could have put a whole bunch of motions on the floor but they had the obligation to submit which one they were going to actually use by 2:00 p.m. yesterday. Then they had up until 9:00 a.m. this morning to change that. Yet knowing the information that they learned yesterday, they still chose to bring this opposition motion forward, and are essentially wasting the time of this House today.

I wonder if the member could comment on that.

Opposition Motion—Taxes on Health and Dental Care PlansBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, if that member thinks talking about the government's plan to raise taxes is a waste of time, then he can defend that position to his constituents. I can say that what my constituents want us to talk about is exactly the government's plan to raise taxes, and we will take every opportunity to draw attention to it.

Taibu Community Health CentreStatements By Members

February 2nd, 2017 / 1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Shaun Chen Liberal Scarborough North, ON

Mr. Speaker, February is Black History Month, a time for us to recognize the remarkable contributions of Canadians of African descent.

In my riding of Scarborough North, the Taibu Community Health Centre opened its doors in 2008 as a joint effort between the Black Health Alliance and the Ontario Ministry of Health. Taibu is a unique community-led organization that provides primary health care to the black community in the greater Toronto area as its priority population. The centre also serves as a community hub, instilling self-esteem in adolescent girls through the Step Up girls group, and engaging local students in its LEARN-After School program.

Congratulations to executive director, Liben Gebremikael; board president, Debra Wight; and the entire team of staff and volunteers whose efforts have earned Taibu its well-deserved reputation.

Taibu is a Kiswahili greeting that means “be in good health”. As we celebrate Black History Month, may we all be blessed with good health in the months and years to come.

Taibu. Merci beaucoup.

2016 Prince Albert Citizen of the YearStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Ms. Sheryl Kimbley, 2016 Prince Albert Citizen of the Year. Sheryl was nominated for the award in appreciation of her commitment to Prince Albert youth and for her unending promotion of the Prince Albert community.

Sheryl serves as the Prince Albert Grand Council special events coordinator. She coordinates such events as Remembrance Day services, fall trapper events, Winter Festival, and the Prince Albert Grand Council's fall assembly.

Outside of her position with the PAGC, Sheryl also sits on the organizing committee of the Prince Albert Winter Festival, serves as the vice-president of the Prince Albert Council for the Arts, sits on the Prince Albert tourist board, and has helped organize and host a long list of local fundraising initiatives.

What drives Sheryl is the love of her children and the love for her community. Her personal goal is to leave behind a healthy community. To Sheryl, being involved feeds her soul. It shows our children how to give back. She could not be more right.

A banquet in Sheryl's honour is being held on February 4 to recognize her outstanding contributions to the city.

Congratulations to Sheryl. On behalf of all members, I thank her for her commitment to our community.

Ches PenneyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the life of Mr. Ches Penney, a constituent, friend, and prominent business leader in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Penney passed away last Thursday and leaves behind his loving family, friends, business associates, and a legacy as one of the most successful business leaders of his time.

As a young man, Mr. Penney was a true entrepreneur, successfully building the tremendous Penney Group and playing a pivotal role in the construction, auto sales, energy services, and real estate sectors.

He was not only a great businessman, but a champion of all that our province stands for. In recognizing his contribution, Ches was awarded the Order of Canada, the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, and an honorary doctorate from Memorial University.

While Ches has passed, his name, memory, and legacy will live on for generations. After a full and busy life, may Ches rest in eternal peace.

Jean-Guy St-OngeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to a great man who spent his life taking care of the people around him. Jean-Guy St-Onge died unexpectedly on January 23 at the age of 73.

It was as a member of Parliament that I first met Mr. St-Onge five years ago. He was a municipal councillor in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka. He served his district for 30 years until the day he died. He was part of everything going on in his community, of which he was very proud. He was involved in the amalgamation with Hungry Bay, in the Municipalité amie des aînés program, which promotes the social inclusion of seniors, and in protecting Lac Saint-François.

I should also mention Mr. St-Onge's five years with SABEC in Godmanchester, which, every year, helps hundreds of people without cars get to medical appointments.

We have lost an admirable and caring man, a dear friend. My condolences to his partner, Nicole, his family, and the people of Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka and the Upper St. Lawrence.

Rest in peace, Mr. St-Onge.

Surrey CentreStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Randeep Sarai Liberal Surrey Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour two men with very differing paths but very similar hearts. Chandra Bodalia immigrated to Vancouver in 1976 and started his career as a photojournalist. In four decades, he documented the South Asian community's memories through more than three million pictures and shared them with all without asking for anything in exchange.

When things took a turn for the worse, the community stood up. Thousands gathered from all over B.C. and opened their chequebooks, as they saw Chandra as a brother in need.

In that crowd was none other than the giant Bruce Kehler, a lumber tycoon but better known as the Desi Santa, a title affectionately given to him because of his giving heart and his affection for the South Asian community.

He challenged the crowd that, if they matched it, he would give $100,000, as no one else had done so much to document the history of the community than Mr. Bodalia, and did the crowd respond? Over $300,000 was collected that night, and two giants showed us all what passion, dedication, and most of all, being human is all about.

Alzheimer's DiseaseStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this chamber today prior to the third and final reading of my private member's bill, Bill C-233, an act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

I wish to sincerely thank my colleagues on this side of the House and members across the aisle for their support of this important legislation on behalf of the 747,000 Canadians living with this terrible disease.

Many of us have had to endure the very painful long goodbye to a loved one without the benefit a having a coordinated strategy.

I want to especially thank my colleague, the member for Don Valley West for his backing in seeing that Bill C-233 becomes a reality.

The non-partisan collaboration from all parties is a shining example of what we can accomplish in this House when we work together for the greater good of all Canadians.

Hon. P. Derek LewisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. P. Derek Lewis, lawyer, senator, and exceptional wit, passed away on January 19.

Derek was born in St. John's in 1924, where he practised law until October of last year, a full 69 years since he was first admitted to the Newfoundland bar. He was among the world's most senior lawyers, and his dry wit belied a lifetime of confidences well kept.

He was a living embodiment of hard work, and so it was no wonder when prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau appointed him to the Senate in 1978. Hansard is replete with evidence of his grace, humour, and humility.

He is survived and mourned by his wife of 55 years, the amazing Grace, and by his law partner and clerk of 60 years, David C. Day, Q.C.

Please rise with me to say thanks and bid adieu to Senator Lewis.

Public TransitStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ramez Ayoub Liberal Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to talk about the collective action spearheaded by the Thérèse-de-Blainville chamber of commerce by way of a petition that I am sponsoring in Parliament to add dedicated transit lanes to Highway 15 and to complete Highway 19 with dedicated lanes. This is about quality of life and economic development for the entire Lower Laurentians region and greater Montreal area.

For the first time, federal, provincial, and municipal elected officials, as well as economic and community stakeholders, have all rallied to support this petition, because our patience has been tested to the limit. Urgent action is needed, as BAPE has said.

It is high time that the Government of Canada provided some financial support for public transit infrastructure projects. I invite all Canadians to sign our petition.

Groundhog DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker,

Seven hours west of here in Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound,
Is beautiful Wiarton, proud to call my home town.

There's a famous groundhog named Wiarton Willie,
He comes out February 2nd, sunny or chilly.

He is not your regular, plain brown woodchuck,
A weather predictor, it's definitely not luck.

Drop by and see Willie, you'll be impressed,
Willie don't charge cash for access.

His glistening fur coat of ivory white,
Fills all regular “hogs” with fear and fright.

Shubenacadie Sam and Balzac Billy, they're just fakes,
and Punxsutawney Phil, probably a Liberal on the take.

Mr. Speaker, this government, so lost in a snow storm,
Willie wouldn't have backtracked on electoral reform.

This morning in Wiarton right at 8:07,
The sun did not shine from the heavens.

With chants of Willie, Willie from the crowd,
His prediction came out clear and loud.

Across the nation his words did ring,
I, Wiarton Willie, predict an early spring!

High-Speed InternetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share the good news that more residents in my riding will have access to fibre optic broadband, thanks to a significant investment by the Government of Canada.

On January 23, I was thrilled to announce, on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, $825,000 in funding to expand the fibre optic broadband network in King Township. Access to better, more reliable broadband will provide residents with new opportunities to participate in the digital economy.

In partnership with communities, service providers, and other levels of government, we are working toward providing every family, farmer, senior, and student with access to a broadband service, increasing the potential for innovation and economic development.

Our government recognizes that investing in infrastructure is essential in order to give our municipalities the basics that they need.

Canadian Armed Forces ReservesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to pay tribute to the reservists of the Canadian Armed Forces. These groups of dedicated individuals play an integral role in support of the regular force, both in international and domestic operations.

I would like to especially highlight the 1st Hussars, a regiment of the Canadian Army and a part of the 31 Canadian Brigade Group. Based in London and Sarnia, this historic group is composed of dedicated and skilled soldiers and officers. It also has a thriving association of retired members, friends, and families.

Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Bernie Scheid, and supported by Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Barry Hogan and Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Larry Myny, the 1st Hussars are tied to D-Day landings, various peacekeeping operations, and supporting the mission in Afghanistan. I would be remiss if I did not mention Joe Murray, who is a passionate defender of London's military history. Their motto is “Today not tomorrow”.

I ask everyone in this House to show appreciation today for the work our reservists do in supporting our regular force to ensure we enjoy a peaceful, prosperous, and free tomorrow.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, February marks Black History Month. During this time, we pause to honour the legacy of black Canadians. We celebrate the many contributions that have been made by black Canadians throughout the years and the contributions that will be made in our future.

One of my closest friends came to Canada only a few years ago from Tanzania. She has enriched the lives of all those who are fortunate enough to know her. Her joy and her smile are contagious.

However, simply talking about Black History Month seems to be too broad a brushstroke. It fails to capture the diversity within the black community. With so many nationalities, cultural traditions, and family histories, the diversity of the black experience is matched only by the diversity of our country, Canada, our home.

We thank the black community in Lethbridge, and in all of Canada, for adding to the mosaic that we call home and for enriching our community.

Kingston and the IslandsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an outstanding citizen from my riding of Kingston and the Islands, Mr. Jamshad Hassan.

Jimmy, as he is more commonly known in Kingston, was born and raised in Pakistan. Many years ago, he chose to leave his life there in search of something new. After eventually settling in Kingston, Jimmy quickly became known for his outspoken love of our city and, more importantly, his ongoing pursuit of making Kingston an even better place to live.

Three years ago, Jimmy started hosting a diversity dinner, where he brings together people from all cultural backgrounds to share our experiences and learn from each other's cultural richness. This year, Jimmy brought together Kingstonians representing a vast array of countries including Ukraine, Russia, China, Japan, the Philippines, and of course his homeland of Pakistan, to name a few.

Jimmy has been a light in the Kingston community and knows that diversity is our strength. We thank Jimmy for choosing Kingston. We are stronger because of him.

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is Groundhog Day again, but when it comes to Liberals breaking promises, Canadians have seen this movie and they are not laughing.

Canadians, in the last election, chose hope over experience with the Liberal Party. They said this Liberal leader was different, not like the other Liberals who would say anything and do anything to get elected, but then once he got in office would just arrogantly break those promises, like his promise on electoral reform.

There is an old story of the frog and the scorpion. There is a great flood. The scorpion says to the frog, “Let me jump on your back to cross the river; I won't sting you”. The frog says, “How can I trust you, when you're a scorpion?” “Why would I sting you? It would only be to my own harm”, says the scorpion. The frog says, “I'll trust you one more time”, and he jumps on his back. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stings him. As they are drowning, the frog says, “Why did you do that?” The scorpion says, ”It's my nature; I'm a scorpion”.

When it comes to Liberals, we can always count on the nature of Liberals to look after Liberals, and it is only Canadians who end up getting stung.

Suicide Prevention WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the 27th Suicide Prevention Week, and its theme is “Suicide is not an option”.

People in distress contemplating suicide are turning increasingly to the web. Suicide is an issue that is of particular concern to me. This additional platform makes it possible for us to more quickly provide support for our youth, parents, work colleagues and friends.

I invite everyone in my riding and in Quebec to join this movement and to tell their friends and family that suicide is never an option and that they are there for them.

I would like to thank the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide and all organizations and stakeholders working in our ridings throughout the year. If you are worried about someone you know, do not hesitate to ask for help by calling 1-866-APPELLE.

Brigadier General William W. TurnerStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Leslie Liberal Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with profound sadness that I rise today to mark the passing of Brigadier General William W. Turner, a decorated veteran and a family friend.

Canada has seen the passing of a living legend.

A native of Victoria, British Columbia, General Turner served his nation as an artillery officer in World War II, as a peacekeeper, as commandant of his beloved Royal Military College, and in later life as the colonel commandant of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.

Throughout his career, he was known as a gentleman of rare high intellect, who would invest great efforts into passing on his vast knowledge to the next generation. I, and thousands just like me, owe General Turner a great debt of gratitude for his service to not only the army, the Canadian Forces, but indeed to Canada.

I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife of 65 years less two days, Hope, to his sons, John and Bill Turner, both distinguished soldiers themselves and close personal friends of mine, and to his daughter, Hope, who herself married a combat veteran.

Rest in peace.

International TradeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, when he was elected, the Prime Minister said that his mandate letters were his ministers' bible.

After reading the mandate letters for the Minister of International Trade and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, it seems that international trade is not really important to the Prime Minister because there is no mention at all of the softwood lumber agreement, the TPP, or bilateral agreements with countries that were in the TPP.

Why has the Prime Minister not shown us that he believes it is important to open borders?