House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Operation UnifierStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a decade ago, Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, visited Ottawa as Russian deputy foreign minister. Back then, I confronted Kislyak about Russia's cyber-attacks on Estonia and its use of gas supply cut-offs to intimidate Ukraine. Ten years of diplomatic resets and the result is Russia is exponentially more belligerent. Then, Russia's cyber-attacks shut down Estonia. Today, they undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential elections. Then, Russia punished Ukraine for its pro-western policies with gas shut-offs. Today, in Russia's war against Ukraine, 10,000 have been killed and two million have been displaced.

Diplomatic engagement must include the strength of military conviction. Renewed Operation Unifier is a clear geopolitical deterrent to Russia's revanchist imperial intent.

We are proud of our 200 Canadian soldiers serving in Ukraine.

Raising HopeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, last year, students from Eastend School committed to a We project. Because area families had relied on Ronald McDonald House in the past, they decided to fundraise so others could stay there as well. Their goal was to raise $30,000.

A core group of students, headed up by Janise Michel, organized the Raising Hope Gala for their small town. They sold tickets and tables. They rounded up 180 auction items. Area restaurants and caterers volunteered their cuisine. Local entertainers and an auctioneer donated their talents.

The auction alone raised $30,000, with more than $35,000 coming from sponsors, tickets sales, and donations. The goal was $30,000, but the total was nearly $66,000.

Last week, the group went to Ronald McDonald House not just to deliver the cheque, but to serve once more. They served supper to clients of the house.

There are places and people in this world who give more than they take. I am so proud that southwest Saskatchewan is still one of those places.

Check it all out at Raising Hope RMH.

NowruzStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the Persian new year festival of Nowruz, which is celebrated by Persian, central Asian, Kurdish, and Ismaili Canadians. Nowruz has been celebrated since ancient times and serves as a testament to the longevity of the millennia-old Persian culture.

This is a wonderfully colourful occasion when community members come together to mark the first day of spring, an annual victory of the spirit of the sun over cold and darkness and a time when nature renews its vows with life.

The ancient Persians saw this as a symbolic moment that in the constant struggle between good and evil in all dimensions, physical, emotional, moral, and spiritual, good will always prevail.

I hope the community in Vancouver Quadra and Canadians across the country enjoy their gatherings with family and friends around the haft seen and I wish them the greatest of blessings in the new year.

[Member spoke in Persian as follows:]

Noruzetan Pyruz.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Trois-Rivières we kicked off the fifth International Day of La Francophonie in Mauricie.

This evening, at the Ordre de la Pléiade ceremony, Ottawa will recognize the importance of promoting French and the dialogue of cultures. Today, March 20, the francophonie is celebrated around the world. Having 274 million French speakers is good, but having 274 million French speakers who organize themselves and set up institutions to support their development is better.

The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, and TV5, are just a few of the institutions that come to mind.

The francophonie provides opportunities for cultural exchanges and, increasingly, for economic growth and sharing scientific knowledge, which allow us to envisage an even brighter future.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Mr. Speaker, today we are celebrating the International Day of La Francophonie.

As my colleague mentioned, more than 276 million people speak French and are celebrating their culture and their language today.

In Canada, French and English are on an equal footing, and I have spent much of my career in education defending linguistic rights.

The strength of our francophone and Acadian minority communities truly resides in education and early childhood programs.

I would also like to point out that the Conseil jeunesse provincial de la Nouvelle-Écosse has created a very interesting initiative entitled “J'aime RIGHT ton accent” to inspire linguistic pride. It plays such an important role in educating the next generation.

I can say that the next generation of French speakers in Nova Scotia and right across the country is exceptional.

World’s Greatest HorsemanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to represent the riding of Foothills, the heart of cattle country where pioneers settled the west relying on work ethic, ingenuity, family, and horsemanship. I am proud to say that that character remains true in Alberta today.

Today I rise in the House to pay tribute to an incredible Albertan who epitomizes that character. A Foothills resident with determination and amazing skill has accomplished what no other Canadian has done before. Earlier this year, Millarville's John Swales made history when he was named the world’s greatest horseman.

Swales and his mount, Heza Diamond Spark, bested the top competitors on earth to earn the title of best in the world at the National Reined Cow Horse Association's Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth, Texas.

Albertans know what it takes to be a champion: heart, tenacity, and talent. John Swales is no exception. It is with great pride that I congratulate Alberta's renowned Swales family and, of course, John, on being the first Canadian ever to be named the greatest horseman in the world.

NowruzStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to welcome Nowruz, the Persian new year and arrival of spring.

Recognized by the Parliament of Canada, Nowruz is a 3,000-year-old tradition celebrated by Iranian, Afghani, Azeri, Turkish, and other cultures rooted in central and western Asia. This festival embodies a wealth of ancient traditions and is a time when families and friends join together at the haft seen table to celebrate new beginnings, exchange gifts, enjoy traditional delicacies, and signify hope for the year ahead. It is an opportunity to renew our collective commitment to harmony, acceptance, and understanding.

This year, Nowruz takes on special meaning as we also celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.

Mr. Speaker, through you, I say to all Canadians celebrating Nowruz:

[Member spoke in Farsi as follows:]

Har Ruz etan Nowrouz, Nowruz etan Pyrouz.

French LanguageStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 22nd Dictée Lavalloise was held on Saturday.

I rise today to congratulate those who participated in this family activity. As a former teacher, I am delighted with the success of this dictation, administered simultaneously in Quebec and in France.

I also rise to mark the International Day of La Francophonie and to highlight the language that binds us together around the world and here at home from coast to coast to coast.

I am proud that Canada is committed to promoting the French language and the values of La Francophonie. I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes the importance of the French fact to this day. I am proud to be a francophone.

Have a great and happy International Day of La Francophonie, everyone.

GlobalMedicStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring the attention of the House and Canadians watching at home to the work of the GlobalMedic organization. GlobalMedic's mandate is to save lives by providing short-term, rapid response in the wake of disasters and crises both here at home and abroad.

I actually participated in an event last December put on by GlobalMedic where we packed welcome to canada kits for newly arrived Syrian refugee families. I want to note that the executive director of GlobalMedic, Rahul Singh, also spent some time in Niagara working with our amazing EMS personnel.

GlobalMedic is now one of the top 10 finalists for Google.org's Impact Challenge contest. It is competing for a $750,000 Google grant. If successful, the GlobalMedic team would use the money to expand its innovative RescUAV program in disaster zones to help coordinate humanitarian responders and save lives.

I want to wish the GlobalMedic organization the best of luck in this challenge and great success in all of its future endeavours.

HoliStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak about the Holi festival. My colleagues and I recognize the importance of Holi every year on the Hill.

Holi is a festival of colour and love. During the Holi festival, people are drenched in colours while playing Holi with each other. We will often hear the phrase, “Don't mind, because it is Holi”. Holi shows thanksgiving and the victory of good over evil. While some choose to worship for spiritual reasons, others have fun, loudly, through music, song, and dance. On that day, they forget their worries and pursue forgiveness. The end goal is sharing love and happiness with friends, family, and the community.

I wish my colleagues, family, and the community a colourful Holi.

Hepatitis CStatements By Members

March 20th, 2017 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Mr. Speaker, hepatitis C is a contagious viral infection that ranges in severity from mild illness lasting a few weeks to serious lifelong liver disease. NWT has the highest rate of hepatitis C in Canada. About 250,000 people are infected with the virus in Canada, but most are unaware that they are infected. Many patients do not experience any symptoms until their liver becomes so damaged that they develop cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.

I encourage the development of a national hepatitis C strategy that includes voluntary testing for everyone born between 1945 and 1965, who make up the majority of cases in Canada, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Like many diseases, if caught early, there are much better outcomes for patients. If we work together, we can limit the impact of this virus and protect the health of all Canadians.

NowruzStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish Canadians of Kurdish, Persian, Ismaili, and Central Asian heritage a very happy Nowruz, as this week marks the start of a new year. Coinciding with the launch of spring, Nowruz symbolizes hope for peace, for an end to violence, and for reuniting with friends and family and marks a new beginning for people around the world.

Nowruz is celebrated through a variety of traditions, including by the Kurds, who gather in the countryside to light bonfires, which represent passing from the darkness of the previous year into the light of the next; the Persians, who set the haft-seen table and exchange gifts; and the Central Asians, who plant trees and attend festivities marking the occasion.

I wish a joyful celebration and sweet, sweet success in 2017 to all Canadians observing Nowruz.

[Member spoke in Persian as follows:]

Noruzetan Pyruz.

Come From AwayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gudie Hutchings Liberal Long Range Mountains, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week we braved a nor'easter to celebrate the people of Gander on Broadway with the musical Come From Away. The show moved our Prime Minister and the entire delegation to laughter and tears with the incredible and true story of how people from my province welcomed thousands, with open arms, as a town of not 9,000 people nearly doubled when 38 aircraft landed in just hours on 9/11.

We all know that Canada and the United States have a strong cultural and trade connection. Last Wednesday evening, people from around the world and politicians from the two countries reaffirmed this connection. This magnificent Broadway production reminded us of the importance of acceptance, of kindness, and of welcoming people in need.

A Canada Council grant gave the writers support in creating this magical production of the world coming to a small town, and it was workshopped at Sheridan College.

I congratulate the cast and crew on their success. I encourage everyone in the House to see it, and most of all, to visit Gander and Newfoundland and Labrador, of course, for a taste of our hospitality.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's veterans are not getting the support they deserve. I heard this loud and clear at the Nanaimo Legion 10 town hall earlier this month. Vets said that both past Conservative and Liberal governments are poisoning patriotism and the desire to serve our country. They said that dealing with Veterans Affairs with PTSD is like being given a jigsaw puzzle and turning out the lights.

These young vets want a navigator to help them manage the tangled bureaucracy of PTSD treatment and to make sure that no vet is discharged without medical benefits and a pension in place. They want the lifetime pension for wounded vets restored, as the Liberals promised. The Canadian Forces ombudsman reinforced this in withering testimony to the Senate on March 8, when he said that Canada is not living up to its bargain.

This week's Liberal budget must make this right. Our veterans deserve so much better.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the International Day of La Francophonie. During the week of March 6 to 12, I took part in a leadership workshop and meetings of the Association parlementaire de la Francophonie with other French-speaking women parliamentarians from around the world at the Quebec National Assembly. This was also an opportunity to note just how much the French language acts as a common link across the five continents.

Many French Canadians, including Céline Dion and Xavier Dolan, have proven that it is possible to be successful internationally in French, just as Alain Bouchard, the founder of the Couche-Tard convenience store chain, has done in the business world.

It is the duty of all parliamentarians to ensure that the French language is respected, maintained, and continually protected. We all need to rise above party politics on this matter.

To the francophones of Quebec, of Canada, and the entire world, and to everyone who choses to speak French, I say happy International Day of La Francophonie.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, I wish everyone a wonderful International Day of La Francophonie.

I would like to point out the importance of the Francophonie in Canada and the world. Canada is the second largest French-speaking member of the international Francophonie with almost 10 million Canadians who speak our beautiful and rich language in every province.

Yves Duteil said it so well in his song La langue de chez nous:

It is a beautiful language with splendid words
whose history can be traced in its variations
...
It built bridges across the Atlantic
It left its home for another land
And like a swallow transported by the spring
It returns to sing of its sorrows and hopes

It tells us that in that far off country of snow
It faced the winds blowing from all directions
To impose its words even in the schools
And that our own language is still spoken there

It is a beautiful language to those who know how to defend it
It offers treasures of untold richness
The words we lacked to be able to understand one another
And the strength required to live in harmony

BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we spend more money than we are taking in that is called a deficit in both of Canada's official languages.

This government has lost control of spending and now it needs to create new revenues or cut credits for families. I can hardly wait for Wednesday's budget to see what cuts Canadian families will have to endure after losing their tax credits for sports and culture.

What new cuts will we see? What will these families be in for when they wake up Thursday morning after the budget is brought down?

BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, we will present a budget that will create growth for the middle class, which has been our focus from the beginning. Last year, we lowered taxes for the middle class and we increased them for the wealthiest 1%. My colleague's party voted against that tax cut for the middle class.

BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have voted against a deficit. That is what we have done.

We see that the new American administration will lower taxes on small businesses. On this side of the border, it will create new challenges for our Canadian small businesses. Can they stay competitive under the new circumstances?

Will the Prime Minister lower taxes on Canadian small businesses, exactly like he promised, in order to keep them competitive in the American economy and with our American neighbours and to help them create jobs?

BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, a common challenge we face in North America is to create growth for the middle class. That is what we have been focused on for a year and a half. That is how we put more money in the pockets of the middle class—by lowering taxes on the middle class and raising taxes on the wealthiest 1%.

I would remind you, Mr. Speaker, and all others in the House, that the Conservative Party voted against lowering taxes on the middle class and raising them on the wealthiest 1%. It is a shame.

BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, just for that alone, the cost was $2 billion more than what they had planned. This goes to show to what extent they failed to anticipate how much it would cost, and it is just one example.

To avoid losing face, they have reached the point of wanting to sell airports. It is as if a family were to sell their fridge and stove to pay off their credit card. That makes no sense.

Will we see this in Thursday's budget? Will we be selling off Canadian airports at a discount so that the Prime Minister can save face?

BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, the hon. member, like all Canadians, will see that, with this budget, we will be promoting the growth of the middle class and investing in the future of our country. That is what Canadians expect.

We made the choice to invest in our communities, to invest in infrastructure and to invest in the growth of the middle class. We rose to the occasion by implementing the Canada child benefit, which gives more money to nine out of ten families, while eliminating benefits for the wealthiest families. The Conservative Party voted against the Canada child benefit.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing a troubling pattern established with these Liberals. They are shutting down debate, they are ramming through legislation, and we have a Prime Minister who does not want to answer questions directly on his ethical lapses. Now we find out that he only actually wants to be here one day a week to answer questions. That is not accountability.

Does the Prime Minister commit that no changes will be made to the Standing Orders unless he has agreement from all parties in this House?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected a government with an ambitious plan for change, for investing in the middle class and for investing in the future of this country, and that is exactly what we are busy delivering.

We are putting forward legislation that lowered taxes on the middle class and raised them on the wealthiest 1% and put forward a Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families.

We have an awful lot we need to get done for Canadians to grow the middle class after 10 years of neglect by the previous government, that wanted to give tax benefits to the richest Canadians. That is why Conservatives voted against the Canada child benefit and lowering taxes on the middle class. Unfortunately, that is more of what we are going to see—

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!