House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parks.

Topics

Bob WhiteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I stand to pay tribute to Bob White, a true icon in the Canadian labour movement. A lifetime of fighting for workers' rights began at the tender age of 17, when he was a shop steward, not long after leading 500 workers off the job on his first strike action.

Recognizing that Canadian workers needed to control their own destiny, in 1985 Bob White changed Canada's labour landscape by leading the charge to split from the United Auto Workers to form the Canadian Auto Workers. After serving three terms as CAW's president, he moved on to the Canadian Labour Congress, serving as its president for seven years and continuing to be a fierce advocate for workers' rights. A tireless champion for social justice and fair trade, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his exceptional service to this country.

Bob White was respected by workers and business leaders alike and inspired the current generation of labour leaders, like Unifor president Jerry Dias and CLC president Hassan Yussuff, both former CAW members.

To Bob's family, friends, and former colleagues, we offer our deepest condolences.

World Day of Social JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

On this World Day of Social Justice, Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to underscore Canada's commitment to the fundamental belief that all people across the world are equal in rights and dignity.

Social justice is fundamental to peaceful coexistence. We help to advance social justice when we break down barriers related to gender, age, race, religion, culture, and disabilities.

Many global problems stem from systemic prejudice and discrimination. These divisions come not from religion or faith, since all religions are built on aspirations for peace and human dignity, but rather from political and economic injustices.

In Canada, our government is working to make progress in various areas, including relations with indigenous peoples, women's rights, and access to justice. We recognize that social justice is only possible when the diversity and fundamental rights of all people are respected.

Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion MonthStatements By Members

February 21st, 2017 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, February marks Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, a unified effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide to raise awareness, champion rights, and foster the inclusion of people with disabilities. This initiative, which began in 2009, highlights the importance of the accommodation and inclusion of people with disabilities within Jewish communal life and provides a focal point for Jewish Canadians to demonstrate leadership beyond their community.

I am proud to welcome a delegation to Ottawa, led by the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, representing Jewish federations, service agencies, activists, and parents from across Canada. This group is here to promote the breaking down of barriers and the advancement of inclusion and accommodation of individuals with disabilities and their families.

I wish them well.

HeritageStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is a very special day. Not only is it the second day of Canada's Heritage Week, it is also recognized by the global community as International Mother Language Day.

Heritage Week was created to celebrate the unique value of Canada's built heritage. These are the roots and places that tell this country's story. From coast to coast to coast, I am sure we can all think of a historic building worth preserving.

Today is also an opportunity to appreciate Canada's cultural heritage. In 1999, UNESCO recognized February 21 as International Mother Language Day to celebrate the linguistic heritage of peoples across the world. This effort would have been impossible without the efforts of the Vancouver-based organization Mother Language Lovers of the World Society and Mr. Abdus Salam, a founding member, whose family now lives in my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City. I would like to commend Mr. Salam for his tireless efforts and join him in celebrating our country's linguistic diversity.

Bob WhiteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the life and legacy of Bob White, a trailblazer who will be remembered for his heart of gold and nerves of steel.

Brother Bob fought tirelessly for a Canadian identity in the labour movement. His courage and vision led to the birth of a new union, the Canadian Auto Workers, in 1985. Bob was CAW's first president, serving three terms before moving on to serve for seven years as president of the Canadian Labour Congress. He was also an Officer of the Order of Canada, but it was his love of working people that fuelled his dedication to the labour movement.

As Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, said yesterday, “Bob was a true maverick.... He believed in using our collective strength to make both our workplaces and our world better places”.

Today we mourn his loss with the labour community and extend our deepest condolences to Bob's family and friends. We are all part of Bob White's legacy, and his vision for a Canadian social trade union movement will live on.

Rest easy, Bob. We will continue the fight. Solidarity Forever.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada was founded on the principles of free speech, democracy, and the rule of law. There is no other principle more important to the functioning of a democratic society than freedom of expression. That is why this foundational principle must be protected and guarded.

However, there are lines that can be crossed. These lines are codified in Canada's criminal laws. The recent call by a student leader at McGill University to “punch a Zionist today” crosses that line. Such words are a call to violence, and as such, they are harmful to our society. They are based on hatred and incitement to violence against religious minorities.

Resorting to such thuggery is also usually the first sign of having lost the argument. In our democracy, we can debate ideas. We can have differing opinions. One thing we cannot do is threaten violence against our fellow Canadians.

I appreciate the fact that the individual responsible for these hateful words has offered an apology. Regardless, these words should be widely condemned by all of us for what they are, an unacceptable incitement to racial hatred and violence.

MulticulturalismStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Rioux Liberal Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome to Parliament Hill and pay tribute to Hassan Guillet, the imam of the mosque in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. La Presse named him person of the week.

I thank Mr. Guillet for the words of peace that he shared with us on Sunday at the Saint-Jean-l'Évangéliste cathedral. His rallying call to the people of the world was one of mutual respect. We need to be more open and accepting.

Dear colleagues, Canada is a welcoming, tolerant country built on community spirit. Diversity is our strength, and respect is one of our key values. Our country is a cultural mosaic that gets richer and more inclusive every day. Last week, we discussed in the House Motion No. 103, which condemns Islamophobia and all forms of racism and religious discrimination.

Let us work together and unite our voices to make tomorrow even better.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week, Douglas Garland was sentenced to 75 years for the brutal murder of Nathan O'Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy. He got 25 years for each murder. This was made possible in part because of legislation passed by our Conservative government allowing for consecutive sentencing for multiple murders.

The consecutive sentencing law has put Garland where he belongs, in jail with no chance of getting out, ever. The Prime Minister is now reviewing sentencing laws. Will he guarantee today that this law will not be touched?

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister is currently reviewing our criminal justice system to ensure that it is fair, that it keeps Canadians safe, and that it is doing things responsibly.

On mandatory minimums, it was the Liberal Party that brought in mandatory minimums for the most severe of penalties, and we have demonstrated time and time again that we will not flinch from doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe.

I look forward to the hard work our justice minister is going to be doing in making sure that we have the best justice system possible.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not answer the question. These were horrible murders, and for the family of Alvin, Kathy, and five-year-old Nathan, and for all Canadians, one of the few comforts was that justice was seen to be done. Douglas Garland will be behind bars and will never get out, partially thanks to consecutive sentencing.

I am going to ask the Prime Minister one more time. As he reviews sentencing laws, can he assure Canadians that he will not touch this one?

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, our justice minister is currently looking at sentencing laws in our criminal justice system and ensuring that we fulfill the responsibilities Canadians expect of our system and of our government, which is to keep Canadians safe, and to ensure that we have the right system in place for people who break the law. That is exactly what we are looking at. That is exactly the work we are doing, and that is where I have entire confidence in our justice minister.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, middle-class Canadians are bracing for yet another round of Liberal tax hikes in the next budget. There is a long list of tax credits on the chopping block again. These are credits that seniors, workers, families, and students depend on. We also know that he wants to hike user fees. The Liberals might even slap a tax on Netflix. The Prime Minister's plan is to nickel and dime Canadians in a quest for every bit of cash that he can find.

Will the Prime Minister just come clean and tell us which taxes is he going to hike?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if members opposite really cared so much about the middle class, they would not have voted against lowering taxes on the middle class and raising them on the wealthiest one per cent, which is a commitment we made that is part of the core of our focus, which is helping the middle class and those working hard to join it.

That is entirely going to be the focus of the budget we are going to be bringing forward in the coming weeks. That, we can be assured, will focus on helping the middle class and those working hard to join it.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the evidence is there in black and white. The tax bill on middle-class Canadians has already gone way up under this Prime Minister. With new taxes on savings accounts, education, textbooks, children's activities, higher CPP and EI premiums, a national carbon tax, we are talking about thousands of dollars a year for every family in the country.

When will the Prime Minister stop misleading Canadians and admit he is making the middle class pay for his out of control spending?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the previous government gave tax breaks to the wealthiest and not enough help to those who actually need it. That is why we got elected on the commitment to help the middle class by lowering their taxes and raising them on the wealthiest one per cent.

We brought in a Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families by doing less for the families that do not need the help and more for those who do. On top of that, we have ensured that we are raising the GIS for our most vulnerable single seniors by close to $1,000 a year, on top of many other initiatives we are doing that will help students, seniors, and workers.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, middle-class Canadians are paying more and more under this Prime Minister. There are new taxes on savings accounts, textbooks, and children's activities, higher CPP and EI premiums, and a carbon tax. That adds up to thousands of dollars a year for many families.

When will the Prime Minister stop misleading Canadians and admit he is making the middle class pay for his reckless spending?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the first thing we did was lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the wealthiest 1%. The Conservatives voted against that, by the way.

The fact is that we also brought in the Canada child benefit to give more money to families that need it and reduce or eliminate benefits for millionaire families. That will reduce child poverty in Canada by 40%.

We are focusing on the middle class and those working hard to join it.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for more than a month now, the NDP has been calling on the government to suspend the safe third country agreement. Since the agreement is still in effect, refugees are choosing to cross the border illegally, at great risk to themselves. The Prime Minister clearly told refugees that Canada would welcome them, but he is refusing to put his money where his mouth is.

Will the Prime Minister finally take action and suspend the safe third country agreement?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada is an open and generous country. Last year, we welcomed tens of thousands of refugees. We will continue to welcome refugees.

One of the reasons why Canada remains an open country is that Canadians have confidence in our immigration system, the integrity of our borders, and the help we provide people who are seeking relief and a better life.

We will continue to strike a balance between having a rigorous system and accepting those who are in need.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, under the safe third country agreement, refugees cannot apply for asylum in Canada if they are already in the U.S. Many refugees are crossing the border illegally, risking life and limb because they have no other option. Clearly, the Conservatives had no plan, and while the Liberals sound welcoming, they have implemented absolutely zero measures to address this situation. Things will only get worse.

Will the Prime Minister finally act, suspend the unfair agreement, support border communities, and help those desperate refugees?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada is an open and welcoming country, and one of the reasons we are able to continue to be open and welcoming is that Canadians have confidence in the integrity of our borders and the integrity of our immigration system. We will continue to ensure that laws are enforced and followed and that we remain demonstrating the strength and integrity of our immigration system. We will be welcoming, but we need to make sure that it is done properly at the same time by all officials in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, values need to be followed by action or what good are they? We are getting reports of massive raids by U.S. immigration, including a horrible story of a seven-year-old boy abandoned after officials arrested his mother at a football game. While a former Conservative prime minister serenades Mr. Trump, will the Prime Minister speak up? With another executive order expected soon, will the government finally denounce Trump's immigration policies and take any new actions to address the impacts on Canada?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their government to do two things: to stand up for Canadian values and continue to talk about the openness and the strength with which we engage with the world and also to have a strong working relationship with the American government and officials. That is what we are focusing very much on doing, because there are millions of jobs on both sides of the border that depend on us working well together, but we will always stand up for our values and our strengths.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government seems to be hiding its head in the sand by refusing to recognize the urgency of the situation. Border crossings in Quebec are busier and busier, Canadian citizens are being turned away at the U.S. border without a valid reason, and the situation in the United States is increasingly problematic. However, this government just smiles and tells us that all is well.

What is the government waiting for to take concrete action that will deal with the repercussions of Trump's policy on Canada?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, with regard to concrete action, we are working with the U.S. authorities to ensure that jobs in Canada, economic growth, and the security of our borders continue to benefit small businesses, Canadian workers, and economic growth for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

We will always speak loud and clear for Canadian values, and we will continue to always work constructively with Americans.